April 09, 2021

Judge blocks Beshear’s executive orders, siding with restaurants and breweries

Louisville, Kentucky; April 9, 2021: Today, Scott County Judge Brian Privett ruled in favor of restaurants and breweries that sought an injunction against Kentucky Governor Andrew Beshear’s continued enforcement of several COVID-19 orders.

Even though the Kentucky legislature voted to rein in the governor’s powers during emergencies like the pandemic, the governor ignored the legislature, continued to enforce his executive orders, and issued additional executive orders. Last month, Goodwood Brewing Company, Trindy’s, and Dundee Tavern filed a lawsuit against the governor, alleging his actions violated the law.

“We are thrilled that Judge Privett issued the injunction, which prevents the governor from enforcing the restrictive orders against our clients,” said Oliver Dunford, an attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation, which represents the businesses. “The order recognizes that the governor is obligated to follow the laws, just like everyone else. As Judge Privett wrote, Kentucky’s emergency laws prevent temporary orders from becoming de facto legislation. This order is a victory for the rule of law and Kentucky’s separation of powers.”

The order prevents the state from enforcing two dozen executive orders against Goodwood Brewing Company, Trindy’s, and Dundee Tavern.

Judge Privett explained that by issuing an injunction, he “gives these Plaintiff businesses, the business community, and general citizenry of the Commonwealth a real say in the matters. While we elect and put trust in our officials in Frankfort, the impact of decisions in the Capitol actually live and breathe with the citizens of the Commonwealth, where the people operate businesses and work and raise families. Where the courts give the citizens of the Commonwealth the ability to seek redress for harm when a law, executive order, or regulation from Frankfort disrupts their ability to live within their inalienable rights, that redress should be freely given.”

Pacific Legal Foundation has been working with legislatures across the country, including Kentucky, to rein in governors’ excessive emergency powers.

Case Documents

Order granting preliminary injunction
April 09, 2021 Download

About Pacific Legal Foundation

Pacific Legal Foundation is a national nonprofit legal organization that defends Americans threatened by government overreach and abuse. Since our founding in 1973, we challenge the government when it violates individual liberty and constitutional rights. With active cases in 34 states plus Washington, D.C., PLF represents clients in state and federal courts, with 14 victories out of 16 cases litigated at the U.S. Supreme Court.

If you are on deadline and need immediate assistance, or need a comment from a PLF attorney, please contact our media team at media@pacificlegal.org.

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