‘Kansans should not be arrested for practicing their faith…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, filed a lawsuit against the state’s legislature after it overturned her ban on religious gatherings during the coronavirus outbreak.
The seven-member Legislative Coordinating Council, which features members of both the state House and state Senate, voted to strike down Kelly’s executive order on Wednesday. But Kelly claimed the hybrid council does not have the authority to overturn her executive order.
“The last thing I want right now is a legal battle,” Kelly said while announcing the lawsuit, according to the Wichita Eagle. “But as I said yesterday, Kansas lives are on the line, and I took an oath to uphold and defend the constitution.”
Kansas formed the bipartisan council last month via a resolution that allows the group’s seven members to review Kelly’s emergency executive orders. Because the group was created by a resolution and not by law, Kelly insists that its authority is moot.
Republican lawmakers in the state, however, said they support the council’s decision. Churchgoers should avoid gathering in large groups, they said, but they should also not feel like they will be punished for worshipping on Easter Sunday.
“This is where we disagree: Kansans should not be arrested for practicing their faith,” the top Republican lawmakers wrote in a letter to Kelly.
The Republicans noted that the legislature has tried to find a compromise with Kelly, but she has refused to work with them.
“Despite repeated attempts to solve this problem and create a constitutional order, the Governor has opted to create confusion and tie this issue up in the courts,” the letter states. “We take seriously our obligation to protect people’s lives during this pandemic, and we know that the Governor does too.”
Kelly is asking the state’s Supreme Court to strike down the council’s ruling and bar it from reviewing any future executive orders.