The state’s seven-member Legislative Coordinating Council, composed of House and Senate leaders, stated the Democratic governor overstepped her authority earlier than voting 5-2 Wednesday.
Senate President Susan Wagle known as the order a “blatant violation, of our fundamental rights,” in accordance to the Topeka Capital-Journal.
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Given how time-sensitive the disaster has develop into, Kelly’s attorneys are asking the Kansas Supreme Court to expedite the problem to the council vote and declare it unconstitutional. They additionally need to court docket to enjoin the panel from taking one other vote associated to her emergency powers.
“The last thing I want right now is a legal battle,” Kelly stated at a Thursday information convention. “But as I said yesterday, Kansas lives are on the line and I took an oath to uphold and defend the constitution.”
Health officers concern spiritual providers might result in an uptick in COVID-19 circumstances, The Wichita Eagle reported. Three of the state’s 12 coronavirus clusters have been traced to church gatherings.
On Tuesday, Kelly introduced that church providers and funerals would now not be exempted from an order limiting gatherings of 10 folks or extra. The lawsuit stated the state’s emergency administration legislation permits for the total Legislature to revoke her orders, not the council.
Kelly denounced the lawmakers’ actions, accusing them of placing the well being and security of households in danger.
“This virus has been hard for all of us. As your governor, all I can do is take decisive steps to mitigate the damage, flatten the curve as quickly as possible, and prevent this virus from reaching its full, lethal potential,” she tweeted. “That’s why I’m deeply disappointed that Republican leadership isn’t putting the health and safety of Kansas families first – including our faith communities.”
In a press release from Kansas House GOP leaders, they stated they agreed with Kelly that Kansas residents ought to keep dwelling during Easter and Passover.
“But, that is the place we disagree,” the statement reads. “Kansans shouldn’t be arrested for working towards their religion.
“Despite repeated makes an attempt to resolve this downside and create a constitutional order, the Governor has opted to create confusion and tie this challenge up within the courts,” the statement continued. “We take significantly our obligation to guard folks’s lives during this pandemic, and we all know that the Governor does too.”
They known as Kelly’s lawsuit pointless and stated she ought to search for a “safe and legal” resolution.
Governors throughout 44 states have enacted measures limiting church gatherings. Statewide, Kansas has 1,106 recognized COVID-19 circumstances, together with 42 deaths as of Thursday night time, based on the state Department of Health and Environment.
In a Thursday tweet, Kelly urged Kansans to “embrace alternate forms of worship.”
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“I know it’s painful to refrain from gathering to recognize religious celebrations,” she wrote. “The physical church itself, while sacred and beloved, has never defined Kansans’ deep and abiding faith.”
Kelly is asking the court docket to resolve the matter earlier than the Easter vacation, which falls this Sunday.
Fox News’ Dom Calicchio contributed to this report.