Guest column: The Constitution, the governor and the little country church

The Cincinnati Enquirer | Dave Yost, guest columnist

The parking lot was full, as parking lots often are, of cars. The cars belonged to worshippers attending a drive-in Easter service in Kentucky.

While some went inside the church building, most remained in their cars and listened to a sermon over a loudspeaker. There was no passing of a communion cup or other COVID-spreading contact among the people.

When the pastor had announced the drive-in service the previous week, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear – a former attorney general, who is not unfamiliar with these issues – announced that the Kentucky State Police would be on hand to write down the license plate numbers of anyone who showed up.

The threat did not deter the faithful. The police arrived as promised, in uniform and recorded license plate numbers.

They issued notices to the congregants that their attendance at the drive-in service was a criminal act, in violation of the governor’s emergency health order. The officers said the license plate numbers would be sent to local health department authorities, who followed up with letters to vehicle owners commanding them to self-quarantine for 14 days or be subject to further sanction.

Read the full column here.