Dictators Gotta Dictate!

AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley

When state Governors get away with dictatorial actions once, they’ll keep doing it until someone stops them. It is no surprise that those once drunk with power would again imbibe when there were no consequences for the previous drunken spells.

As we have previously noted, Governor Andy Beshear (D-KY) has gotten away with unconstitutional restrictions on people’s freedoms because the sheeple allowed him to do so. And now, proclaiming that COVID-19 is rising too fast, he is doing it again. From the Louisville Courier-Journal:

Gov. Andy Beshear unveils new coronavirus restrictions for Kentucky

By Grace Schneider and Emma Austin | November 18, 2020 | 4:19 PM EST | Updated: 4:42 PM EST

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced multiple new restrictions Wednesday as the state continues to see a surge in coronavirus cases, including:

  • All public and private K-12 schools will close to in-person instruction starting Monday through the end of the semester. The only exception is for elementary schools in counties outside the red zone, which may reopen on Dec. 7 if the school follows all guidelines.

Uhhh, since when does the state have authority over private schools?

Beginning on Friday and lasting until Dec. 13:

  • All restaurants and bars will close to indoor dining services. Outdoor dining is still allowed, with some limitations.
  • Gyms are limited to 33% capacity, and no group classes or indoor games are allowed. Masks are required.
  • Indoor gatherings should be limited to two families, not exceeding a total of eight people.
  • Attendance at wedding and funerals is limited to 25 people.

If the situation is so dire, I have to ask, why are gyms being allowed to open at all? After all, if dining inside a restaurant is too hazardous to be allowed, why isn’t working out inside a gymnasium?

Outdoor dining is still allowed, albeit with restrictions? The low for tonight in Lexington is forecast to drop to 36º F. While Friday, Saturday and Sunday have forecast highs in the low sixties, starting Monday it gets colder again, with daytime highs in the low fifties, and nightly lows in the thirties and, beginning Saturday the 28th, dropping below freezing. Might as well just close ’em down for everything other than take-out.

“Indoor gatherings should be limited to two families, not exceeding a total of eight people.” If the Governor is stating that gatherings should be limited, then he is simply exercising his freedom of speech to ask Kentuckians to do this. If there are some sort of executive orders mandating this, then they are in violation of our First Amendment rights of peaceable assembly.

And sorry, but weddings and funerals are (normally) religious events, and no Governor, no state, no President and no government at any level have the power to prohibit the free exercise of religion.

The General Assembly must, in its next session, this January, pass strict limits on the Governor’s emergency powers under KRS 39A. The Governor must never be allowed to attempt to restrict our constitutional rights, and in other emergency decrees must have his authority limited to only fourteen days without calling a special session of the state legislature to either pass laws to extend them, or revoke the orders.

The Governor, intoxicated with power as he is, had no intention of meeting with the legislature over his decrees:

Beshear was asked at Friday’s (July 10, 2020 — Editor) news conference on COVID-19 why he has not included the legislature in coming up with his orders. He said many state lawmakers refuse to wear masks and noted that 26 legislators in Mississippi have tested positive for the virus.

Translation: he did not believe the General Assembly would give him his way, so he was not going to allow them any say in the matter at all.¹

Fortunately, the 2020 elections expanded the already strong Republican control in the legislature; the GOP will have veto-proof margins in both houses of the General Assembly. But we really cannot simply wait for the legislature to act; Kentuckians need to protest now, to show the legislators that we are opposed to the Governor’s actions.
¹ – The state Constitution calls the legislature into session once a year, in January, for a limited time. The Governor may call a special session of the legislature at any time, but the legislature does not have the authority to call itself into session.
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