The Kentucky Supreme Court heard oral arguments Thursday morning on whether or not they should strike down or uphold Governor Andy Beshear’s emergency COVID-19 orders.
Since March, Gov. Beshear has issued dozens of emergency orders, such as defining “essential businesses” permitted to continue operations during a lockdown, mandating all persons wear masks in public places, and limiting the class size at child care centers.
A Northern Kentucky auto race track, a child care center, and a bakery have challenged the governor’s orders and attorney Chris Wiest argued on behalf of the plaintiffs. Weist made the case that the governor failed to follow proper administrative procedures.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a Republican, joined the suit against the Democratic governor. Solicitor General Chad Meredith was on hand to argue on Cameron’s behalf, accusing Gov. Beshear of “creating his own legal code” without following the process and procedure of issuing administrative regulations for the legislature and public to review.
La Tasha Buckner, general counsel for Governor Beshear, maintained that the governor has the legal authority and responsibility to take swift action in emergency situations, using severe weather instances as an example of other emergency situations where timely action is required.
The Supreme Court has not said when it will issue a decision on the matter.