Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron on Tuesday filed a motion to join an ongoing lawsuit opposing Gov. Andy Beshear’s restrictions on certain businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The original suit had been filed in Boone County Circuit Court by the racetrack Florence Speedway and a group of other Kentucky businesses, all seeking an injunction to prevent Beshear or state health officials from closing them or regulating their operation.
Cameron’s motion to intervene, which would add him to the list of plaintiffs, accuses Beshear of violating the state constitution by attempting to exercise “absolute and arbitrary power” over Kentuckians’ lives by limiting the types of businesses that can open, the number of people allowed inside at a time and the ways they can operate.
“Through a series of overbroad and overreaching executive orders, Governor Andrew Beshear is micromanaging Kentucky’s economy and the daily lives of every Kentucky citizen,” Cameron wrote. “He has ordered private industry to open and close at his will. He has ordered churches closed and religious gatherings to disperse. And, with each passing day, he subjects Kentuckians to increasing uncertainty about how he will wield the breathtaking authority he claims.”
Much of Kentucky’s private economy has reopened since Beshear’s initial mid-March order closing non-life-sustaining businesses.
However, Cameron argues that the businesses remaining closed have no recourse but legal action, and the far-reaching nature of Beshear’s previous orders leaves every Kentuckian at the mercy of Frankfort.
“Citizens all over the state have no way to predict what’s next, and no control over fundamental parts of their lives,” he wrote.
Cameron is a Republican. Beshear, a Democrat, frequently opposed Republican Gov. Matt Bevin during his own tenure as Attorney General.