Court Rules In-Person Learning at Religious Schools Can Continue Despite Beshear's Order

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky ruled Wednesday that in-person instruction may continue at religious schools in Kentucky, despite Gov. Beshear's order to cease it.

Posted: Nov 26, 2020 10:10 AM
Updated: Nov 26, 2020 10:31 AM

A Kentucky court ruled Wednesday that in-person learning could continue at religious schools in the Bluegrass State, issuing a statewide preliminary injunction against Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s order banning such instruction at those facilities.

Earlier in November, Gov. Beshear issued a new Executive Order in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 throughout the Commonwealth, halting in-person learning at all schools as of Nov. 23.

Leading up to Wednesday's ruling, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, with the support of nine religious schools including Heritage Christian School in Owensboro and more than 1,000 Kentucky parents, called on the court to overturn Beshear's order, calling it a violation of First Amendment rights.

The court noted that although the governor's orders were made in "an effort to do the right thing," they could not be made while "infringing protected values."

"The Governor is enjoined from enforcing the prohibition on in-person instruction with respect to any religious private school in Kentucky that adheres to applicable social distancing and hygiene guidelines," the court said in its ruling, granting the temporary restraining order against the governor's order as was sought by AG Cameron and Danville Christian Academy, Inc.

Over 3,400 new cases of COVID-19 were reported throughout the Bluegrass State on Wednesday, with 117 of the state's 120 counties currently in the COVID-19 Red Zone.

You can view the court's full opinion and ruling below:

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