LOUISVILLE, KI. (WDRB) – Governor Andy Beshir’s impeachment petition over his work with the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the Kentucky House of Representatives to form an impeachment commission.
The effort comes after the Kentucky Supreme Court unanimously ruled in November that Beshear’s executive orders during the pandemic were legal and “necessary.”
Four Kentucky citizens filed an impeachment petition at the State House on Friday. The Kentucky Constitution requires a commission to be formed if the chamber receives an impeachment petition.
Kentucky has never had a governor successfully impeachment in his 228 years of statehood. Parliament Speaker David Osborne told Lexington Herald-Leader̵
Impeachment petitioners include Jacob Clark of Grayson County, Tony Whitley of Mercer County, Randall Daniel of Bullitt County and Andrew Cooperrider of Fayette County, according to documents received from WDRB News. In their petition, the men outlined eight alleged violations – of Kentucky law, the Kentucky Constitution and the US Constitution – against Beshear’s response to the pandemic.
The allegations refer to Beshear, which ordered insignificant companies to close personal traffic, restricting personal religious services, changing voting procedures, imposing travel bans and more. One point against the governor claims that he “passed a series of laws by decree, acting as the sole legislature, and refused to convene a Kentucky General Assembly in session; and also made a number of public statements showing his desire to continue to do so. ”
Also included in the petition: More than 40 Kentucky residents have signed affidavits alleging that Bashir’s actions have risen “to the level of impeachment.”
“I find that his initial actions during the first 30 days, in response to the alleged pandemic, may have been justified by caution,” the affidavits said. “But over time, it became clear that the survival rate of the virus was 98% +/-.”
In pursuance of the governor’s orders, however, the Kentucky Supreme Court said Beshir had correctly declared a state of emergency, used his state of emergency, and because his orders and regulations were not arbitrary, did not violate the state constitution.
“The governor’s orders were and continue to be needed to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of all Kentucky citizens,” the Supreme Court said in a statement. “This type of highly contagious etiological danger is precisely this type of emergency that requires a response throughout the country and properly serves as a basis for the governor’s actions under state law.”
House management expects to have a process for the committee by Monday.
Beshear’s office has not yet returned a request for comment to WDRB News.
Read the impeachment petition in full below:
This story can be updated.
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