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Kelly v. LCC

Posted By Joseph N. Molina III, Monday, April 13, 2020

On Saturday, April 11, 2020 the Kansas Supreme Court heard Kelly v. LCC via ZOOM. This case was the first to be held over video conference with all attendees participating remotely. It was quite a thing to witness. See; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhnQYvyZXgY&feature=youtu.be

Click to View Video

The case itself was as interesting as the circumstances surrounding its adjudication. The timeline was expedited, with the case being filed on April 9 and the ruling issued on April 11, the same day as the hearing. The basics of the case are that Gov. Kelly expanded her “stay at home” executive order on April 7th to include religious organizations. See; https://governor.kansas.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/20-18-Executed.pdf This was due to three clusters of COVID-19 infections tracked to church gatherings. On April 8, the Legislative Coordination Council, on a 5-2 party-line vote, revoked this executive order under their authority in HCR 5025. However, the court found a technical issue in HCR 5025 concerning the State Finance Council’s role in Emergency Declarations. The court determined that the Legislative Coordinating Council was not the proper oversight authority. The court held that “[t]he LCC's purported revocation of Executive Order 20-18 on April 8 was a nullity, because the LCC lacked authority do so under HCR 5025's terms.” The court did not discuss the effect the Executive Order had on limiting religious gatherings nor did it invalidate the emergency declaration issued by the Governor.

See; https://www2.ljworld.com/news/2020/apr/11/kansas-supreme-court-hears-arguments-in-governors-suit-against-lawmakers-decision-could-come-saturday/

 

See also; http://wyandottedaily.com/kansas-supreme-court-gov-kellys-order-limiting-church-attendance-to-10-persons-or-fewer-stands/

The big question now is whether the Kansas Legislature revisits the idea and passes another concurrent resolution that properly checks the governor’s authority. That remains to be seen.

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Tags:  Author: Joseph N. Molina III  COVID-19  Executive Order 20-18  HCR 5025  Kansas Supreme Court  Kelly v LCC  State Finance Council  Zoom 

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