CNA Staff, Dec 7, 2020 / 16:37 pm
An order shuttering in-person education until Jan. 4 in Kentucky amid rising COVID-19 cases amounts to religious discrimination, the US Supreme Court has been told in amici curiae briefs.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) temporarily halted in-person learning in the state by executive order.
The order, which applies to both public and private schools, allows for elementary schools in “red” zones (counties with 25 or more new coronavirus cases a day) to reopen as long as they are following state public health guidance.
Danville Christian Academy sued over the order.
A federal district judge had ruled Nov. 25 that Beshear’s order could not apply to private religious schools because it infringed on their First Amendment rights. On Nov. 29, a federal appeals court overturned that decision, upholding Beshear’s original order.
Danville Christian Academy has asked the US Supreme Court to temporarily suspend the executive order, while its appeal is pending.
Several groups have submitted amici curiae briefs in the case in support of Danville Christian Academy.
Thirty-eight Republican Senators - including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Rand Paul, both of Kentucky - filed one such brief Dec. 4.
“COVID-19 is undoubtedly a serious health threat, but the Constitution applies even in difficult times. This Court should again remind Governors across the Country that shutdown orders cannot trample Constitutional rights,” the Senators stated in their amicus brief.