Court of appeals sides with Gov. Beshear to keep private, religious schools closed for in-person instruction

Court of appeals sides with Gov. Beshear to keep private, religious schools closed for in-person instruction
The U.S. Court of Appeals struck down an exemption on an executive order by the governor allowing private and religious schools to reopen for in-person learning. (Source: Flickr: UK College of Agriculture)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WAVE) - On Sunday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has struck down an exemption on an executive order by Governor Beshear, which would have allowed private and religious schools to reopen for in-person learning.

The executive order by Beshear required all schools to halt in-person classes to prevent the spread of coronavirus within the commonwealth. The order was put into effect starting November 23 and ending December 13.

A lawsuit against the executive order was filed shortly after by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron and Danville Christian Academy, asking for a temporary restraining order to be put in place against the ruling for private and religious schools.

An exemption was granted by U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove on Wednesday, ruling that they were exempt from the governor’s executive order, but the order stands for public schools.

Now, in a new ruling delivered Sunday by the Sixth Circuit, the court ruled that order does not discriminate against any certain group and that the governor’s order is broadly applicable.

“We are not in a position to second-guess the Governor’s determination regarding the health and safety of the Commonwealth at this point in time,” the ruling stated.

Governor Beshear released a statement in support of the Sixth Circuit’s ruling, stating “we must all do our part” over the next few weeks to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Today, the Sixth Circuit recognized that we must all do our part over the next several weeks to slow this virus. Don’t try to find an exception, do your part to save lives. ^AB

Posted by Governor Andy Beshear on Sunday, November 29, 2020

“While we all want to get our kids back to in-person instruction, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recognized that doing so now would endanger the health and lives of Kentucky children, educators and families,” the statement read.

Read the full court filing here:

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