AG Cameron: ‘Fight isn’t over’ in case involving in-person learning for religious schools

Published: Nov. 30, 2020 at 3:52 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Gov. Beshear’s order to temporarily ban in-person classes at both public and private schools has made it to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Updated 12/2

Monday, Cameron filed an emergency appeal with the nation’s highest court.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh is now requesting Governor Beshear’s legal team to respond to Cameron’s request by 4 p.m. Friday.

Original Story 11/30

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has a message following a decision from an appellate court on Sunday: The legal fight isn’t over.

The three-member panel of judges with the U.S. Court of Appeals sided with Governor Andy Beshear on his executive order to have all schools, including private and religious schools, go back to virtual learning until after the first of the year to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Cameron says he will argue this issue before another level of the U.S. court system and says despite the ruling, he is confident the at least nine schools involved in an ongoing lawsuit have a valid argument to have children in classrooms.

Kids at private schools in Danville and Lexington and elsewhere in Kentucky were set to return Monday after a U.S. District Judge ruled the mandate for schools was for public not private institutions. That was before Sunday’s ruling by the higher court.

The attorney general says it’s important to do everything possible to stand up for parents who want their kids in the classroom.

“We’ve had over 1,500 parents, support us in this effort. Almost 20 schools support as well,” Cameron said.

Cameron says it’s all about exercising first amendment rights, even during a pandemic and says the nation’s highest court has already ruled in favor of churches in that regard.

“It was disappointing but I firmly believe that even in the midst of a pandemic religious affiliated schools and institutions need to exercise their first amendment rights. And that’s what this is about, nothing else,” Cameron said.

The attorney general says it’s possible that this could go all the way to the Supreme Court. What’s interesting also is that a final decision could possibly be made after the mandate ends, but Cameron says it’s about precedent.

“It’s larger than if kids can go back to school today. It’s about the precedent. Whoever is governor. It has nothing to do with Governor Beshear but more to do with can a governor in his executive or emergency power infringe upon the constitutional rights of our citizens.” Cameron said.

Cameron says what is troubling is that some of the schools spent thousands of dollars on safety protocols because they were focused on doing what was right.

“Lexington Christian Academy to be specific spent $400,000 to update their protocols, to have procedures in place,” Cameron said.

The attorney general says he will be filing the appropriate paperwork to advance the case very soon.

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