Judge Keeps Beshear Virus Orders In Effect Amid Court Battle

Apr 8, 2021

Governor Andy Beshear's COVID-19 orders aren't going anywhere — at least for now. A judge is keeping the governor's orders intact while a court battle plays out between the administration and the GOP-led General Assembly.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear speaks to reporters following the signing of bills related to the American Rescue Plan Act at the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort, Ky., Wednesday, April 7, 2021.
Credit AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled Wednesday that allowing a legislature-approved resolution to stand would create "uncertainty and unnecessary obstacles" in the fight against COVID-19.

House Joint Resolution 77, a measure invalidating the governor's virus-related orders, was passed in response to Shepherd's March decision to temporarily halt other Republican-backed bills meant to rein in the governor's powers.

Shepherd wrote that the resolution presents the same legal challenges as the previous bills, and should be put on hold until the larger court battle over COVID-19 orders is decided.

Republicans have argued Beshear's orders should be subject to more oversight from the people's branch. Beshear's office says Wednesday's decision retains the governor's ability to take executive action to "protect and save Kentuckians lives."