Attorney General Cameron Files Motion to Defend Kentuckians Against Gov. Beshear’s Unconstitutional Travel Ban

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 28, 2020) – Attorney General Daniel Cameron has notified a federal court of his position that Governor Beshear’s travel ban unconstitutionally infringes on the rights of Kentuckians to travel across state lines.  In a filing in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Attorney General Cameron asks the court to realign him as a plaintiff to represent the people of Kentucky and protect their constitutional right to travel from infringement by Governor Beshear’s travel ban.

“Kentuckians have a fundamental and constitutional right to freely travel from one state to another,” said Attorney General Cameron.  “While the spread of COVID-19 requires Kentuckians to follow CDC recommendations for social distancing and use caution when traveling, the Governor’s order is overly broad by banning nearly all travel.  If the Governor is going to ask Kentuckians to surrender their constitutional right to freely travel as part of the fight against COVID-19, such a restriction must be narrowly tailored.  The sweeping scope of his travel ban, if left unchecked, creates a dangerous precedent.”

Governor Beshear’s March 30 and subsequent April 2 executive orders instruct Kentuckians not to travel to other states during the pandemic, except for limited reasons.  If Kentuckians violate the order by traveling to another state for an unapproved purpose, Beshear’s order requires them to self-quarantine for 14 days.  Violating the order could be prosecuted as a Class A misdemeanor pursuant to KRS 39A.990.

Governor Beshear’s executive order mandates a one-size-fits-all approach that Kentuckians must follow if they desire to travel, despite the incidence of COVID-19 varying greatly in each county and in each state.  

To view a copy of the motion, click here.