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Judge issues restraining order against Beshear in Evans Orchard lawsuit

A Scott County Circuit Judge has entered a temporary restraining order against Governor Andy Beshear, in a lawsuit brought by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and Evans Orchard.
A Scott County Circuit Judge has entered a temporary restraining order against Governor Andy Beshear, in a lawsuit brought by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and Evans Orchard.(WKYT)
Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 2:24 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - A Scott County Circuit Judge has entered a temporary restraining order against Governor Andy Beshear, in a lawsuit brought by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and Evans Orchard.

The lawsuit challenged the constitutionality and legality of Governor Beshear’s use of executive power during the coronavirus pandemic.

The judge ruled in favor of Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles and Evans Orchard by granting a temporary restraining order against the enforcement of the Governor’s executive orders.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron also intervened in the case, siding with Commissioner Quarles and Evans Orchard.

The order stops the statewide enforcement of the Governor’s executive orders with respect to all of Kentucky’s agritourism venues registered with the KDA. There are 548 agritourism sites registered with the KDA.

The complaint filed last week by Quarles and Evans Orchard alleges Governor Beshear’s executive orders are unconstitutional and unlawful.KDA officials argued that certain statutes passed by the General Assembly conflicted with sections 2, 27, 28, and 29 of the Kentucky constitution.

The plaintiffs also alleged that the proper authority for issuing emergency regulations is set forth in Kentucky’s Administrative Procedures Act (APA). In emergency situations, the APA permits the governor to issue emergency regulations that take effect immediately and still allow for public comment and review from the General Assembly’s bipartisan and bicameral administrative regulation review subcommittee, chaired by Senator Steve West and Representative David Hale.

“Surprisingly, lawyers for the governor admitted in court this week that the administration used the emergency regulatory process to expand telehealth during the pandemic, but they didn’t do that when they closed or began to reopen the economy,” said Commissioner Quarles. “With cases rising around us, it is now more important than ever before that the Beshear Administration prioritize public health and public input going forward. If the Beshear Administration believes new measures are needed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, they must stop trying to govern via executive order and begin following the emergency regulatory process that allows for public comment and input from the Kentucky General Assembly.”

Below is the letter Attorney General Daniel Cameron, Senate President Robert Stivers, and House Speaker David Osborne sent to Governor Andy Beshear on Friday July 9, 2020.

Here is the temporary restraining order enjoining Governor Beshear from enforcing his Executive Order concerning Covid-19.

Read the original complaint filed by Commissioner Quarles and Evans Orchard below:

Copyright 2020 WKYT. All rights reserved.

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