Gov. Andy Beshear is asking a legislative committee to dismiss an impeachment petition against him. Petitioners say Beshear violated the Kentucky Constitution when he imposed restrictions during the pandemic, including mandatory closures of non-essential businesses.
“The Petition cites no facts and little law in a last-ditch effort to upend our constitutional separation of powers, hoping the General Assembly will ignore the judgments of the judicial branch as well as the will of the people in electing their chief executive,” the response reads.
The four petitioners are Jacob Clark of Grayson County, Tony Wheatley of Mercer County, Randall Daniel of Bullitt County and Andrew Cooperrider of Fayette County. They say Beshear violated their Constitutional rights, including the right to freedom of assembly and religious freedom, with his executive orders temporarily closing businesses and churches to in-person worship.
The response also says Cooperrider is under investigation after a business owner reported him to the authorities for saying “wait until you see what I have planned for the Governor’s mansion in the next couple of weeks.” Beshear says Cooperrider told Kentucky State Police he did not have violent intent.
Impeachment is rare in Kentucky. According to Beshear, it has only been used eight times in Kentucky history, and never against a governor.
Private religious K-12 schools will be expected to close Monday, along with public ones, under a ruling from the U.S Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down on Sunday. The panel of judges overturned a lower court decision that blocked Beshear’s executive order from affecting private religious schools.