Justices with the Kansas Supreme Court ruled Saturday that a legislative council can’t overturn the governor’s executive order banning religious services featuring more than 10 people. Instead, the entire legislature must join together.
“It looks like, according just to the plain text of the resolution, that the Legislature, by the language of the resolution, has given up any ability, short of reconvening, to override any executive order,” Justice Caleb Stegall said, according to Courthouse News.
Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly has won a ruling from the Kansas Supreme Court that said she holds sweeping powers to shut down operations in the state, including large church services, in the face of the coronavirus crisis. https://t.co/M2tplg2z4W
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 12, 2020
The fight was over whether the GOP-majority Legislative Coordinating Council had the authority to overturn an executive order from Governor Laura Kelly, a Democrat. The governor issued an executive order after the statewide spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was partially blamed on three religious conferences. She sued after the council, which is 5-2 Republican, voted along party lines to overturn her executive order.
Kansas Supreme Court rules that Republican-dominated legislative panel exceeded its authority when it tried to overturn governor’s executive order banning religious and funeral services of more than 10 people, @AP reports https://t.co/toy7dc5oXC
— Bloomberg Australia (@BloombergAU) April 12, 2020
This isn’t to say the LCC generally lacks the ability to do this, but the Court determined that under a state resolution, they can only do so after Kelly asks the State Finance Council to extend her state emergency declaration past May 1. The Legislature previously voted to extend it to this date.
[Screengrab via KMBC 9]
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