Kentucky judge blocks some COVID restrictions, rules in favor of businesses challenging governor’s orders

Published 7:26 am Saturday, April 10, 2021

A Kentucky judge on Friday temporarily blocked applying some of the state’s pandemic-related restrictions to several restaurants and breweries challenging the governor’s actions.

Scott County Circuit Judge Brian Privett said in his narrowly tailored order that the rights of those businesses have been harmed by the restrictions. His order applies only to the handful of businesses challenging the coronavirus-related orders by Gov. Andy Beshear.

“It does not affect every business in the Commonwealth, or schools, or masks, or any other issue,” Privett said. “It only states that under the law, these specific businesses’ rights have and continue to suffer harm and they should be relieved under the current state of the law.”

Beshear spokeswoman Crystal Staley pointed to previous rulings siding with the governor. As for Privett’s order, she said: “While the decision only applies to five businesses, our office already has filed an appeal and awaits a response from the Court of Appeals.”

Privett’s order runs counter to a Franklin County Circuit Court ruling that temporarily blocked Republican-backed laws threatening to invalidate the Democratic governor’s virus-related orders. Privett said “there is every chance” the case he heard will join the Franklin County case on appeal ultimately to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Privett ruled in a lawsuit brought by Goodwood Brewing Co., doing business as Louisville Taproom, Frankfort Brewpub and Lexington Brewpub; Trindy’s; and Kelmarjo Inc., doing business as The Dundee Tavern.