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Cameron Takes Challenge To Beshear’s COVID Restrictions To U.S. Supreme Court

Attorney General Daniel Cameron speaking at podium.
Kentucky will receive $478 million in opioid settlement funds over the next 18 years, according to Attorney General Daniel Cameron. it will be split between state and local governments and used in part to help with programs to support addiction treatment, recovery and prevention.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Sunday’s ruling from the 6th Circuit Court Of Appeals and block Gov. Andy Beshear’s executive order that closed private religious K-12 schools.

Beshear’s order, meant to curb the surge in coronavirus, bars all K-12 schools, private and public, from holding in-person classes. Danville Christian Academy filed suit and a federal district court judge granted a request for a preliminary injunction preventing the order from impacting private religious schools. Cameron joined the suit on behalf of Danville Christian and private religious schools across the state.

The district court agreed with Danville Christian and Cameron that the order harmed religious freedoms.

On Sunday, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the lower court ruling, saying the order did not target religious freedoms because it applied to all K-12 schools, private and public.

In Cameron’s filing on Monday, he argued that attending a private religious school is an exercise of religious freedom, therefore religious schools should be treated differently than non-religious schools.

“The First Amendment protects religious schooling just as it does worship services--because, for many believers, those are simply two facets of fulfilling the obligations of their faith,” the filing reads.

Cameron argued the order does target religious freedoms, when considered in light of Beshear’s regulations that allow other indoor activities across Kentucky.

“One can catch a matinee at the movie theater, tour a distillery, work out at the gym, bet at a gambling parlor, shop, go to work, cheer on the Wildcats or the Cardinals, and attend a wedding. A parent can send his or her child to daycare or preschool...But all of Kentucky’s religious schools are shuttered,” Cameron wrote.

Cameron also suggested the Court take up the case for full consideration on the merits.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a split ruling just last week, which blocked coronavirus restrictions from impacting worship services in New York. 

You can read the attorney general's complete filing here.

Jess Clark is LPMs Education and Learning Reporter. Email Jess at jclark@lpm.org.