AG Cameron says he supports wearing masks, but motion against mandate is about protecting state constitution
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - On Friday, Governor Beshear issued a new mandate requiring Kentuckians to wear a face-covering while out in public.
It was in response to recent spikes in COVID-19 cases both in the state and across the country. Beshear’s announcement was quickly met with both praise and legal challenges.
The state’s attorney general was asked about the issue Monday morning.
Attorney General Daniel Cameron was sure to note that he supports wearing a mask and says he even wears one himself when out in public and while attending church. But he told reporters the motion he filed last week against the governor’s order is about protecting the state constitution.
Last week, he asked a Scott County judge whether or not Governor Andy Beshear’s mask mandate was legal.
It all stems from a ruling issued by Circuit Judge Brian Privet.
The agri-tourism business, along with Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles and Cameron sued the governor saying his emergency orders restricting businesses during the pandemic were unconstitutional.
As part of the restraining order, Judge Privett also put limits on the governor’s ability to sign future executive-orders.
Cameron filed a motion with that judge asking him to decide if the governor’s mask order violates the temporary restraining order. Cameron says while he supports wearing a mask, Beshear failed to include input from other lawmakers before making the mandate.
“It’s resulted in there being challenges being brought by citizens and our office, and those challenges have resulted in some of those orders being overturned,” Cameron said. “I’m not opposed to wearing of the masks. “This is just a matter of whether it can be mandated and we’ll see what the judge says about that.”
We have learned that hearing is scheduled for later this week.
Beshear’s team has also filed a motion questioning whether or not Judge Privet should make the decision in the case. They claim the judge is friends with Ryan Quarles and therefore provides a conflict of interest.
Monday’s comments from Cameron about the mask mandate came during a press conference during which he randomly selected six counties for post-election audits. State law requires Cameron’s office to take a close look at no fewer than five percent of the commonwealth’s counties after an election.
Daviess, Floyd, Monroe, Logan, Simpson, Cumberland counties were drawn.
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