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Boone County judge orders permanent injunction against Gov. Beshear’s COVID-19 orders

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 9:37 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Boone Circuit Judge Richard A. Brueggemann granted a permanent injunction against Gov. Andy Beshear’s COVID-19 orders Tuesday.

The injunction would go into effect Thursday, June 10 at 5 p.m. Gov. Beshear has said all restrictions would lift on Friday, June 11, returning Kentucky to full capacity for all venues and events.

In a 30-page ruling, the judge said, “based upon the data presented, [lawmakers] argue that the measures imposed in Kentucky have had no appreciable effect when compared to other states” and “therefore, cannot justify continued imposition on an emergency basis.”

You can read the full ruling below.

The judge also ruled that some of the passed laws the Beshear administration was questioning the legality of are constitutional, specifically House Bill 1, Senate Bill 1, Senate Bill 2, and House Joint Resolution 77.

“‘A facial challenge to a legislative Act is, of course, the most difficult challenge to mount successfully.’ In order to find legislation unconstitutional, ‘the violation of the Constitution must be clear, complete and unmistakable.’ Further, the party ‘must establish that no set of circumstances exists under which the Act would be valid.’ For all of the foregoing reasons, this Court finds that Defendants have failed to meet their burden,” wrote the judge.

“Today’s ruling in Boone Circuit Court is further evidence that the legislation we passed in January not only passes the necessary legal tests, but is critical to ensuring our constitutionally guaranteed separation of powers,” said House Speaker David Osborne, R-Prospect, in a statement.

WKYT has reached out to Gov. Beshear’s office for a statement on the ruling.

Senate Bill 1 imposes limits on executive orders to 30 days unless the General Assembly approves. House Bill 1 allows schools and businesses to remain open or have in-person instruction as long as CDC guidelines, or the governor’s rules were followed, whichever is less severe.

HJR77 ends all executive orders, administrative regulations, or other directives from the governor. The list of orders included in the measure is extensive and can be found here.

The Kentucky Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments Thursday to make a ruling in two pandemic-related cases.

The state’s highest court has previously ruled against the Boone Circuit Judge.

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