During the 2021 Legislative Session, the Kentucky Legislature passed four bills that limit the Governor’s emergency powers, which include; House Bill 1, Senate Bill 1 and 2, and House Joint Resolution 77.
These bills require the Governor to consult with and include the General Assembly, the people’s representatives if an emergency order needs to last longer than 30 days. These laws allow the Kentucky House of Representatives and Senate to evaluate the nature of the emergency in light of the Governor’s concerns and then vote to uphold the Governor’s emergency orders or amend them.
Soon after the 2021 Legislative Session concluded, in March, the Franklin Circuit Court Judge Philip Shepherd blocked these bills from going into effect. Thankfully, on Saturday, the Kentucky Supreme Court announced that it has unanimously agreed to dissolve the temporary injunction issued by Judge Shepherd. This allows all four of the bills to limit the Governor’s emergency powers to immediately go into effect.
This decision by Kentucky’s high court is a victory for the rule of law in the Commonwealth. This victory reassures the people of Kentucky that there still are checks and balances and that one branch of government will not be allowed to overstep its authority.
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