Friday, April 9, 2021

Georgetown judge blocks enforcement of Beshear's bar-and-restaurant orders against 5 bars in 4 cities; governor appeals

Goodwood Brewing in Louisville owns three of the bars. (Courier Journal photo by Marty Pearl)
A Scott County judge issued an injunction Friday exempting several businesses from Gov. Andy Beshear's emergency orders, and Beshear appealed to the Court of Appeals.

Scott Circuit Judge Brian Privett ruled in a suit filed by Trindy’s in Georgetown; Goodwood Brewing Co., doing business as Louisville Taproom, Frankfort Brewpub and Lexington Brewpub; and Kelmaro, doing business as The Dundee Tavern, in Louisville, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

The firms are represented by Oliver Dunford of the Pacific Legal Foundation, a libertarian-oriented group that says it "defends Americans’ liberties when threatened by government overreach and abuse." 

Dunford told the Herald-Leader that the suit was filed in Scott County because of Trindy’s. Privett has ruled against Beshear in similar instances.

Privett wrote that his order applied only to the businesses in the case. It exempts them from orders that limit restaurants and bars to 60% capacity and requires them to stop serving by midnight and close by 1 a.m.

He said it's likely that the Court of Appeals will stay his order quickly, and that the Supreme Court will consider his order and that of Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd, who extended his injunction blocking the legislature's efforts to limit Beshear's emergency powers during the pandemic.

Privett noted that the case before Shepherd involves only the governor and the legislature, while his includes businesses: “By issuing this temporary injunction, the court gives these plaintiff businesses, the business community, and general citizenry of the commonwealth a real say in the matters.”

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