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Kentucky woman sues Governor Beshear over travel ban

A Campbell County woman taking issue with a the Kentucky travel ban because she regularly travels to Ohio to visit family and friends and visit Ohio State Parks

CAMPBELL COUNTY, Ky. — A northern Kentucky woman is suing Governor Andy Beshear and Attorney General Daniel Cameron over the travel ban issued to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday in the Eastern District of Kentucky Court, Allison Alessandro, a Campbell County woman claims the travel ban is unconstitutional.

On March 30, the Governor signed Executive Order 2020-258 ordering Kentuckians not to travel to any state with a few exceptions:

  1. When required by employment
  2. To obtain groceries, medicine, or other necessary supplies
  3. To seek or obtain care by a healthcare provider
  4. To provide care to the elderly, minors, or other vulnerable populations
  5. When required by courts

The order also requires any Kentuckian outside the Commonwealth at the time to self-quarantine for 14 days after they return.

In the lawsuit, the woman takes issue with the ban because she regularly travels to Ohio to visit family and friends as well as visits Ohio State Parks.

The lawsuit argues that the ban and enforcement of that ban violate citizens’ right to be heard.

They claim the travel ban violates the right to due process protected by the fifth and fourteenth amendments.

Former federal prosecutor Kent Wicker of Louisville explains “She says they [the Governor and Attorney General] limit her ability to do what she should be entitled to do, which is a substitute due process right and take away those rights without giving her procedural device to challenge it, which is a procedural due process violation”.

Wicker says it is extremely unlikely to be successful.

While there is a Constitutional right to travel Wicker elaborates, in an emergency like we are in now, the Governor can restrict certain rights otherwise guaranteed by the Constitution.

“He [the Governor] has the right to take the property, shut down commerce, right to restrict assembly, and the right to restrict travel when the emergency restriction require it,” Wicker said.

The woman has also asked the judge for a Temporary Restraining Order that would prevent enforcement of that ban for 14 days.

“There is nothing in the travel order that prevents her friends and family from coming to Kentucky to visit her and there is nothing that limits her ability to use Kentucky parks or other open spaces for her own exercise and recreation,” Wicker said.

Friday, a judge denied the temporary restraining order.

Governor Beshear said he is not worried about it and he will win it in a press conference Friday.

Campbell County is in Northern Kentucky and shares a border with Ohio -- a state that currently has about 3 times as many coronavirus cases than Kentucky.

Ohio currently has nearly three-thousand cases compared to Kentucky at under one thousand confirmed cases.

There is a teleconference hearing scheduled on April 6.

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