Kentucky Supreme Court blocks lower courts from throwing out Gov. Beshear’s COVID-19 executive orders

The Kentucky Supreme Court issued a stay Friday afternoon nullifying rulings from the state’s lower courts questioning the executive orders from Gov. Andy Beshear during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The stay comes after a northern Kentucky judge was expected to issue a ruling that would have rolled back Beshear’s executive order powers following a motion filed Thursday by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron arguing that the governor’s executive orders exceed his authority under the law and violate the state’s constitution.

Cameron’s motion also sought an order preventing Beshear from issuing additional restrictions under the current COVID-19 state of emergency.

Boone County Circuit Judge Rick Brueggemann was expected to sign the order Friday afternoon but the Supreme Court stay was issued first.

Beshear said Friday he was relieved to hear the Supreme Court’s decision as he had feared the rulings from lower courts would roll back orders about the need to wear masks, sanitize, and more and could cost lives.

While the lower court rulings will not immediately go into effect because of the stay, the Supreme Court will still hear both sides of the case at a later date and then make a full ruling on the issue of executive order powers.

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