I mentioned yesterday that Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (below), a Democrat, had issued an executive order limiting church gatherings to no more than 10 people. It was the wise thing to do with regards to public health — and perhaps the most she could do in a place like Kansas given the inevitable outcry that would’ve ensued had she said churches, like other non-essential businesses, must close down entirely.
She also had facts on her side: 25% of Kansas’ COVID-19 cases have been traced back to churches.
But yesterday, Republican lawmakers overturned that order on a party-line vote, putting the safety of all citizens in danger. They don’t care if you die as long as Christian pastors — their base — can cash in on Easter Sunday.
Now Gov. Kelly is fighting back. She just announced that she’s suing the Legislative Coordinating Council — the group that overturned her order. She’s trying to get them on a technicality: According to the state’s emergency management law, only the full legislature can vote to overturn her order. The LCC, she argues, cannot. (The GOP-dominated legislature had only passed a resolution giving the LCC the power to make such decisions.)
“The last thing I want right now is a legal battle,” Kelly said at a news conference. “But as I said yesterday, Kansas lives are on the line and I took an oath to uphold and defend the constitution.”
Kelly is seeking a ruling from the Kansas Supreme Court to expedite the challenge. In a filing with the court, attorneys for the governor argue the Legislature’s attempt to reallocate its authority to the council “violates the plain text of the constitution.”
They want a response from the state’s Supreme Court before Easter Sunday. If they don’t get it — or if her order remains overturned — there’s a chance some pastors will hold in-person services and allow the virus to infect countless citizens.
They’re irresponsible. They reject science. And they don’t give a damn about your safety because, at best, they think only your eternal life matters. It doesn’t matter how many Kansas Republicans urge everyone to stay home if they allow pastors to hold large gatherings. Their actions have the potential to hurt people.
(Image via Shutterstock)