September 17, 2020 | By Cal Perry, Kailani Koenig and The Associated Press | NBC News | Source |
“FRANKFORT, Ky. — Lawyers for Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear defended his emergency coronavirus orders in the state highest court on Thursday as hundreds of people protested the restrictions outside.
The state’s Republican attorney general, Daniel Cameron, and a group of local businesses challenged a mask mandate and other coronavirus-related restrictions that had been ordered by Beshear, a Democrat, earlier this year.
“Their claims seek to wipe out the health requirements related to coronavirus while coronavirus is still ongoing,” Beshear’s general counsel, La Tasha Buckner, told the court.
State Solicitor General Chad Meredith, who represented Cameron, countered that Beshear had exceeded his authority.
“For going on seven months now, the governor has been issuing executive orders to control breathtaking aspects of the citizens’ private lives in Kentucky,” Meredith said. “That’s incompatible with the rule of law in a republic.”
Several hundred protesters outside of the Kentucky State Capitol and State Supreme Court grounds in Frankfort, some of whom were openly armed, agreed. Some waved signs with phrases like “Freedom is Essential,” “Beshear is Peddling Fear,” “Beshear is Drunk With Power,” and “Andy’s Kentucky: Commonwealth or Communism?”
“It’s tyranny to force this on people,” said protester Marty Terry, charging that Beshear “did an unlawful mandate, 30-day mask mandate, followed by a 30-day mask mandate, followed by a 30-day mask mandate. Enough. We’re six months into this thing.”