Ky. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in case about Gov. Beshear’s orders
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The Kentucky Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday over Governor Andy Beshear’s COVID-19 orders:
The governor calls them critical to saving lives, Attorney General Daniel Cameron calls them unconstitutional.
No decision was made Thursday, but the Justices challenged both sides.
But the big question: does the governor have the authority to issue these statewide regulations?
Attorneys for the governor argue statute 39-A gives Beshear the executive power to create regulations that protect Kentuckians During emergencies.
AG Cameron’s office agrees this is a public health emergency, but seven months in, they say the governor had plenty of time to call the General Assembly to Frankfort.
Cameron says it’s not a question of if the regulations were appropriate, but if they were issued constitutionally.
“He does these measures in good faith, I’ve never disparage him during the midst of this pandemic," Cameron said. "What we have now is a conversation about the scope of what his powers are in the midst of this pandemic.”
But the governor says his quick actions have saved lives, and if he loses this case, more people will die.
“Every single public health official out there will tell you that," Beshear said. "The White House will say if we don’t have the right rules and regulations in place, people will die. They told us as our cases were escalating then more people will die and we needed a mask mandate.”
It’s still not clear when the Supreme Court will hand down its decision. It could be days, it could be several months.
Copyright 2020 WKYT. All rights reserved.