The governor of Kentucky had his state troopers out intimidating churchgoers over the weekend, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports, while his state health commissioner bluntly announced that Kentuckians’ right to free assembly can, in fact, be abridged by a big-enough scare in the news media.
On Easter Sunday at Maryville Baptist Church, two Kentucky State troopers worked the parking lot, putting quarantine notices on parishioners’ cars and recording their license plate numbers. Inside the church, about 50 people were ignoring Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s order against gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.
Beshear said on Easter that those who received notices on their windshields will get a letter “asking them to self-quarantine.”
“No one is being charged with anything,” he said, perhaps becoming more aware of the volatility of what he is asking people to do, and give up.
Several churchgoers said as they left that they would not abide by the notice on their windshields that called for a 14-day self-quarantine on the threat of “further enforcement measures.”
Asked if the state will consider GPS monitoring anklets such as Jefferson County has used for those exposed to COVID-19 who failed to self-isolate, Beshear gave yet more ground and said “it’s not going to come to that.”
Kentucky Health Commissioner Steven Stack was less conciliatory, telling people that their rights can in fact be taken away.
“At what point do our rights to gather entitle us to have other people die as a result?” he asked at Beshear’s briefing.