Kentucky Democratic Governor Barred From Issuing Executive Order Requiring Mask Use In The State

( Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear was told he can’t continue to issue or enforce any executive orders that are related to the coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday, Judge Brian Privett, of the Scott County Circuit Court, issued a temporary restraining order against the Democrat Beshear. The governor issued an executive order that same day that mandated all residents of the state wear a face covering or mask while in public for certain situations.

That order was quickly challenged in court by Ryan Quarles, the state’s Agriculture Commissioner, along with a business, Evans Orchard and Cider Mill, LLC. The lawsuit was also joined by Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron.

In his decision, Privett wrote that if he wanted to issue and enforce more executive orders related to the coronavirus, Beshear must first “specifically state the emergency that requires the order, the location of the emergency and the name of the local emergency management agency that has determined that the emergency is beyond its capabilities.”

Kentucky is one of four states in the country that is seeing a decrease in rates of new confirmed coronavirus cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Still, the state wanted to push ahead with requiring all customers in grocery stores, retail facilities and other indoors businesses to wear a mask. The executive order also would have required someone to wear a mask while outside if they couldn’t be at least six feet away from another person.

The executive order was set to go into effect Friday evening and stay in effect for 30 days.

Beshear was naturally not happy with the decision, saying he will appeal it to a higher court. He ssaid:

“This is dangerous and devastating and for a court to say, ‘I guess I just don’t believe that the virus exists and you don’t have to do anything,’ no social distancing, nothing else, is absolutely irresponsible.”

The governor said the block on his current executive order and the mandate to go through a whole new process to issue a new one “is absolutely wrong under the law. We’re sending it up to the court of appeals. We’re going to get this to the Supreme Court.”

In a statement, Camera said the judge’s decision was “a clear win for the rule of law and will help Kentucky families and businesses across the Commonwealth who have suffered and continue to suffer financial losses and economic hardship because of the Governor’s executive orders.”

In response, Beshear said he was disappointed that the attorney general joined the case, saying “this shouldn’t be political, and it all seems to be.

“We’ve got to move past it. I’m going to continue to do what it takes. (Cameron) put in that order today, we’re doing the mask mandate today. We’ll beat him in court and just because the circuit judge there, I guess, thinks he’s an epidemiologist and we don’t need any types of restrictions, I know that’s not the case.”