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Attorney General Cameron Continues to Fight for Kentucky’s Religious Schools & Religious Freedom

Attorney General Daniel Cameron
Attorney General Daniel Cameron
Published: Nov. 28, 2020 at 1:23 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Attorney General Daniel Cameron today continued his fight to protect the religious liberties of Kentuckians by filing a brief before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in response to Governor Beshear’s appeal in Danville Christian Academy v. Beshear.  On Wednesday evening, a Federal District Court Judge issued a statewide preliminary injunction stopping enforcement of Governor Beshear’s order banning in-person instruction at religious schools.

The Judge ruled that the Governor’s order closing religious schools cannot be enforced under the First Amendment.  However, rather than rescinding his unconstitutional order and complying with the injunction, Governor Beshear instead doubled down by appealing to the Sixth Circuit and seeking emergency relief allowing him close religious schools come Monday.  In his appeal, the Governor claims the power to stop in-person instruction at religious schools and suggests that he has suspended the Kentucky Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which protects the religious liberties of Kentuckians.

“The District Court’s ruling was incredibly clear, a religious education is an important component of religious expression and is protected by the U.S. Constitution,” said Attorney General Cameron.  “In a separate case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that governors cannot impose more stringent restrictions on religious institutions than they do on secular gatherings, which Governor Beshear is currently doing in Kentucky by banning in-person instruction at religious schools.  It’s deeply troubling that, after receiving such rulings, the Governor continues to believe that he can target religious schools and is even claiming that he has the power to suspend state law protecting Kentuckians’ religious liberty.  We’ll continue to take all necessary steps to push back against his unconstitutional actions in court and to defend the religious liberties of all Kentuckians.”

The Sixth Circuit already ruled, in the Maryville Baptist Church case earlier this year, that Governor Beshear cannot target religious activities for harsh treatment.  Today, the Attorney General’s brief notes that, “by invoking ‘schools’ as a category, Governor Beshear is doing nothing more than imposing a restriction based on why people gather together (for education)—rather than regulating the risks that actually arise from such gatherings. This is contrary to this Court’s precedent, which directs that the Governor must treat religious institutions the same as secular activities that ‘pose comparable public health risks’ even when the reason for gathering together is different.”

To view a copy of the brief filed by Attorney General Cameron, click here.

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