Kansas' high court rules for governor on religious services

Headline Legal News

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Saturday that a Republican-dominated legislative panel exceeded its authority when it tried to overturn the Democratic governor’s executive order banning religious and funeral services of more than 10 people during the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision letting Gov. Laura Kelly’s order stand came after the justices heard oral arguments one day before Easter, which is typically the busiest day on the Christian calendar in terms of church attendance. The Saturday hearing was the court’s first conducted completely via video conferencing.

The court ruled that legislative action designed to give the legislative leadership panel the ability to overrule Kelly’s executive orders was flawed and didn’t legally accomplish that.

The hearing, which was the court’s first conducted completely via video conferencing, came one day before Easter, which is typically the busiest day on the Christian calendar in terms of church attendance.

“In this time of crisis, the question before the court is whether a seven-member legislative committee has the power to overrule the governor. The answer is no,” said Clay Britton, chief counsel for the governor.

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