Kentucky Attorney General wants in-person church services to resume; joins lawsuit against Governor's travel ban

Published: Apr. 28, 2020 at 2:56 PM EDT
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Updated 10:30 p.m.

During his news conference about the lawsuit, Attorney General Cameron spoke out on Governor Beshear's ban on mass gatherings as it pertains to religious services.

“I’m not here to advocate churches resume in-person services immediately,” Cameron said. He says he "just wants them to have the option" and to listen to health professionals.

Cameron said he was considering filing a lawsuit if Governor Beshear did not allow churches the option to resume in-person services.

“Kentucky law gives the Governor broad power during a state of emergency, but it does not give him the power to violate the First Amendment by discriminating against faith-based practices,” added Attorney General Cameron in a release made shortly after the conference. “We cannot, in good faith, move forward from this health crisis together if we have allowed faith-based groups to be unfairly targeted during the process. Governor Beshear should immediately rescind the executive orders targeting faith-based gatherings, and, if he doesn't, then we will be forced to file a lawsuit and allow a judge to determine whether his order, as it pertains to religious groups, is constitutional."

Gov. Andy Beshear says he is not currently banning in-person church services, but just mass gatherings.

"Folks I'm not trying to set rules that are difficult and I'm not trying to set rules that are controversial. I'm just trying to set rules that save lives," said Beshear.

The governor says early ruling by a judge says what the governor did was completely legal.

Original Story

Attorney General Daniel Cameron has joined the lawsuit against Governor Andy Beshear first filed by a Northern Kentucky woman.

She sued Beshear and Cameron over the governor's out-of-state travel ban after she could not visit relatives in Ohio.

According to court documents, Cameron filed a motion to realign himself as a plaintiff.

You can watch his news conference here:

LIVE: AG Cameron holding news conference about lawsuit against Gov. Beshear

LIVE: AG Cameron holding news conference about lawsuit against Gov. Beshear More>>

Posted by WKYT on Tuesday, April 28, 2020

In the suit, Cameron's attorneys wrote, "Here, the Governor's travel ban impermissibly violates the fundamental right of every Kentucky citizen to interstate travel. This being the Attorney General's position, he should be realigned as a plaintiff,"

Beshear dismissed the original lawsuit earlier this month.

Since the outbreak, the governor has said he wants to "put politics aside" while dealing with the pandemic, but Democrats and Republicans have increasingly argued with each other as measures put in place continue.

The Democratic governor and Republican attorney general recently clashed over a bill that would have allowed Cameron to halt abortions during the pandemic, which Governor Beshear vetoed.

Presiding Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove has not filed a response to the motion as of Tuesday morning according to court records.

Both of the existing plaintiffs have supported Cameron's motion to join them.