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Beshear Labels Lawsuit Over Social Gathering Rule 'Ridiculous'

AP Photo/Bryan Woolston

Gov. Andy Beshear is waving away a federal lawsuit claiming his latest virus-related orders dealing with home gatherings amount to "criminalizing family dinners" at Thanksgiving.

Attorneys for plaintiffs in the new case argue the administration's orders limiting social gatherings to a maximum of two households and a maximum of eight people are too vague — leaving questions about whether the number eight applies to one household or the total group.

At a briefing, Beshear dismissed the legal challenge as a distraction that's taking energy away from the fight against COVID.

"Nobody is saying that a family of ten can't continue to live together to eat together. What we're saying is if one family wants to have another family over, it's only two households — two groups that live under the same roof — and eight people total in that group," the governor said. "To suggest we we were saying you can't have dinner with a large family is ridiculous."

But attorneys say the order was poorly drafted, and they're joining a number of private religious schools that are also challenging the virus-related orders. The plaintiffs in that case argue Beshear's statewide closure of K-12 schools runs counter to constitutional and state protections dealing with religion.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.