A federal judge ruled against Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s recent mask mandate Thursday, likening the passing of the order to “tyranny.”
U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman granted a temporary restraining order against Beshear’s mask mandate after a group of Catholic school parents sued the governor over the order. The order, which is in effect for the next 30 days and subject to renewal, requires all students over the age of two, as well as teachers, visitors and staff, to wear a mask.
Beshear’s order did differentiate between vaccinated and unvaccinated. The age of vaccination recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is 12 years of age.
Bertelsman ruled, however, the order violated state law because the state’s general assembly voted in the spring to curb Beshear’s power to issue executive orders. (RELATED: 6 Governors Stripped Of Power Because Of Overreach During The COVID-19 Pandemic)
“The executive branch cannot simply ignore laws passed by the duly-elected representatives of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Therein lies tyranny. If the citizens dislike the laws passed, then the remedy lies with them, at the polls,” Bertelsman wrote, according to a copy of the decision obtained by Lex 18.
Another hearing is set for Tuesday to decide whether a preliminary injunction will be granted.
Public schools can still abide by the mask mandate and a spokesperson for Beshear said the governor agreed Bertelsman’s order should only be in place for the Catholic school that sued, according to WLWT.
“The court ruled without hearing from the governor and with absolutely no consideration of the consequences of exposure and quarantine that we will see – especially at a time when we are nearly out of staffed hospital beds statewide. Nor was the court provided the Franklin Circuit Court’s injunction of the legislation at issue,” Crystal Staley with Beshear’s office reportedly said.
Staley warned Bertelsman’s ruling “could place thousands of Kentucky children at risk and undoubtedly expose them to the most dangerous version of COVID-19 we have ever seen,” according to the report.