Today, the Supreme Court of Kentucky ruled that the various laws the Republicans in the General Assembly passed to limit Governor Beshear's ability to deal with the pandemic were, in fact, legal. In other words, the emergency orders put in place by the governor can now be overturned by the Republicans in charge in the legislature.
In response, a number of persons and entities have released statements about the ruling. Here is a sampling.
House Minority Leader Joni Jenkins and Senate Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey
"While we wish the Kentucky Supreme Court had allowed the injunction against this year’s COVID-related laws to stand, it is vital to point out that the court did NOT rule on the legislation’s constitutionality, which will be decided another day. We believe this legal process must be expedited, and until we have finality, we have to find ways to overcome the new laws' unnecessary hurdles that limit the type of proper statewide response we need — and that Governor Beshear has provided — to combat a deadly virus that has become our country's third-leading cause of death in less than two years. The Supreme Court 'decision' signals it is time for the Republican leadership to publicly put forth their plan to protect the Commonwealth from this pandemic and the deadly Delta variant. We know what they don’t support; show us your plan."
Colmon Eldridge, chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party
“Over the course of the last 18 months, Governor Beshear has worked with the medical community and public health specialists to protect Kentuckians. Governor Beshear’s smart, decisive, and moral actions have saved countless lives across the commonwealth while Republicans in Frankfort have refused to take any responsibility for making hard decisions to keep people safe. As Kentuckians, we continue to believe the Republicans are wrong and that these steps saved lives. Hopefully, Daniel Cameron and the GOP supermajority will finally do the right thing and stop playing politics with this virus and work with the governor to keep Kentucky safe.”
Kentucky Education Association
“It is unfortunate that the Kentucky Supreme Court had no choice but to uphold hyper-partisan actions of the 2021 General Assembly. Today, the coronavirus delta variant is raging across the Commonwealth, active COVID cases are at record levels, available ICU beds have reached near capacity, and in-person learning has been canceled in some school districts. Politicizing public health policy is obviously dangerous. Emergency action by Gov. Beshear to mandate masking in our schools may have very well have averted a far worse health disaster for our students and their families.”
Charles Booker, candidate for U.S. Senate
“At a time when Kentucky is facing one of the nation’s worst outbreaks of COVID-19, this is the last thing we needed. Today’s ruling by the Kentucky Supreme Court ensures the political debate will continue over how our Commonwealth can best protect our children, educators, and families from this devastating pandemic. Gov. Beshear has shown courageous leadership to resist partisan games and meet his constitutional responsibilities to take critical emergency action. I commend his courage to listen to proven health and medical experts in efforts to keep our schools open and safe.
“On the day after we lost a cherished former member of the General Assembly to COVID, every Kentucky official has the chance to put politics aside and show a unified front to actually beat this virus. Republican leadership must resist the urge to exploit this health crisis to encroach on the Governor’s constitutional authority. This has to transcend politics, and can’t just be about Republicans against Democrats.
“This debate is exactly why we need leadership at the Federal level to make sure Kentuckians are prepared and protected when crises hit. With our U.S. Senators voting against relief and fueling deadly misinformation, we are suffering losses that could be prevented. The Governor has taken the correct action, and I am working to make sure he doesn’t have to do that alone.”
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