UPDATED 9:30 AM PT – Friday, December 18, 2020
The Supreme Court shot down a Kentucky Catholic school’s plea for a religious exemption from coronavirus lockdowns. In a seven-to-two ruling Thursday, the nation’s high court rejected Danville Christian Academy’s request.
— Danville Christian Academy (@DCA_Danville) December 13, 2020
The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed in November against an executive order by Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear( D), which put a halt to in-person learning set to expire in early January.
The K-12 school was joined in the lawsuit by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron and over three dozen Republican senators, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The plaintiffs argued the forced shutdown of the school amounted to an attack on religious freedom.
“I agree that we all have a responsibility to abide by the CDC guidelines, but what he has done as it relates to religiously affiliated schools is tell them they don’t even have the chance to do that,” Cameron stated.
My statement regarding the order issued today by the Supreme Court: pic.twitter.com/TwphsUm1MY
— Attorney General Daniel Cameron (@kyoag) December 17, 2020
The high courts ruling states because Beshear’s lockdown order would be expiring in about a week, the school could wait until then. It added, there’s no evidence the lockdowns will be renewed.
Two of the court’s conservative justices, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, dissented to the ruling. Alito argued it shouldn’t matter how close the order is from being over while Gorsuch dissented based on the First Amendment, specifically religious liberty.
The court said Danville Christian Academy can file another lawsuit if Beshear’s order is renewed in the new year.