Appeals court rules for Governor Beshear on order keeping religious, private schools closed

Kentucky Democratic Governor Andy Beshear speaks to the press at the Capitol in Frankfort, Ky.,...
Kentucky Democratic Governor Andy Beshear speaks to the press at the Capitol in Frankfort, Ky., Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)(Bryan Woolston | AP)
Published: Nov. 29, 2020 at 10:27 AM EST
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CINCINNATI, Ohio (WYMT) - The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a temporary restraining order allowing religious and private schools to re-open for in-person education on Monday in spite of an executive order from the governor’s office.

An executive order issued by the governor halting in-person classes at all schools in the Commonwealth from November 23 through December 13 led to a lawsuit filed on November 20 by Attorney General Daniel Cameron and Danville Christian Academy which resulted in a temporary restraining order against the order for religious and private schools by U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove.

In the Sunday ruling, the three-judge panel determined that since the ruling applies all public and private secondary schools in Kentucky regardless of religion, that the order is “therefore neutral and of general applicability and need not be justified by a compelling governmental interest,” meaning that since the order is broadly applicable to all schools it does not discriminate against religious schools.

They also say they are “not in a position to second-guess the Governor’s determination regarding the health and safety of the Commonwealth at this point in time.”

In a statement, the governor said “While we all want to get our kids back to in-person instruction, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recognized that doing so now would endanger the health and lives of Kentucky children, educators and families.”

Attorney General Daniel Cameron also responded to the ruling, saying he was “disappointed” with the ruling but that he was working on taking this matter before the Supreme Court.

You can read Governor Beshear and Attorney General Cameron’s statements below.

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