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Beshear v. Acree

615 S. W.3d 780 (2020)

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Beshear v. Acree

Kentucky Supreme Court

615 S. W.3d 780 (2020)

Facts

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Andrew Beshear (defendant), the governor of Kentucky, declared a state of emergency using authority vested in him by Kentucky’s state constitution. Under Beshear’s authority, the executive branch issued a series of orders in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. The orders included limitations on mass gatherings and requirements for business closures and reopenings, among others. Kentucky’s attorney general and various business owners (plaintiffs) filed suit against Beshear and several executive-branch officials and agencies to enjoin enforcement of the orders. Several trial courts granted temporary injunctions, and Beshear filed for a writ of mandamus. The Kentucky Supreme Court issued a stay of all lower-court orders and consolidated the actions to hear them at once. Among several issues before the court was whether Beshear’s orders constituted a use of improperly delegated legislative power and whether Beshear’s emergency actions had to come through administrative regulations or through the executive orders that were issued.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hughes, J.)

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