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Federal judge blocks Beshear’s ability to mandate masks in schools with executive order

Governor Andy Beshear visited the Kentucky National Guard Boone Center, March 12, 2021 to...
Governor Andy Beshear visited the Kentucky National Guard Boone Center, March 12, 2021 to present an Acclamation award to members of the guard.(Kentucky National Guard)
Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 6:09 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A Catholic school district in Northern Kentucky will no longer have to mandate masks after a federal judge ruled that Gov. Andy Beshear cannot legally mandate masks in schools with an executive order.

Judge William Bertelsman concluded in his ruling that masking orders harm children both emotionally and educationally. His decision came after parents of Catholic schools in Covington, Ky., sued Beshear over his statewide school masking order.

“Such intangible and unquantifiable harm is irreparable because it cannot be measured or undone,” Bertelsman wrote in his ruling.

The mask requirement implemented by the Kentucky Department of Education is not affected by Bertelsman’s decision, nor is the Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ emergency regulation for childcare centers.

Beshear’s spokesperson confirmed the order will only affect the Diocese of Covington and no other schools.

In addition to pointing out record-number hospitalizations of children with the coronavirus across the nation, as well as the rapid rate of Kentucky hospitals filling up, the spokesperson also said the judge’s ruling “ignored an entire section of the Kentucky Supreme Court’s ruling on the constitutional powers of a Governor to respond to an emergency.”

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