Attorney General Cameron is committed to protecting citizens from government overreach. Whether advancing principles of federalism or protecting the separation of powers within state government, the Attorney General's office is the tip of the spear.
Federal Government Overreach
As the federal government grows, so does the threat to Kentucky's ability to govern itself, and Attorney General Cameron is taking action in court to protect the Commonwealth from unnecessary government intrusion and to defend the rights of Kentuckians.
Attorney General Cameron continues to push back against government overreach that threatens the Second Amendment. He urged the U.S. Supreme Court to declare New York's subjective-issue carry laws unconstitutional because they prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves outside of their home. He also opposed the Biden Administration's unlawful attempt to regulate firearm parts under a new rule proposed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
When President Biden revoked the permit necessary to build the Keystone XL Pipeline, Attorney General Cameron joined a coalition of states in filing a lawsuit against the Administration's unconstitutional attempt to cancel its construction.
When the Biden Administration sought to enforce an unconstitutional mandate in the American Rescue Plan Act that prevents Kentucky from lowering taxes if it accepts federal pandemic relief money, Attorney General Cameron led a lawsuit against the Administration's attempt to control state tax policy.
When the Biden Administration issued vaccine mandates for large businesses, federal contractors, healthcare workers, and Head Start program workers and volunteers, Attorney General Cameron led the charge against these acts of federal overreach by filing four separate lawsuits. In each suit, the Attorney General challenged the Administration's unlawful attempts to force the vaccination of thousands of Kentuckians.
In each case, the courts recognize the merits of the Attorney General's claims, and put on hold all four of the Biden Administration's mandates, barring them from being implemented in Kentucky until appeals in each of these cases could be heard.
In January 2022, the United States Supreme Court agreed with Attorney General Cameron's legal arguments and struck down the Biden Administration's vaccine mandate for large employers.
The court did not reach the same conclusion for the millions of healthcare workers and healthcare facilities, including those located in rural areas, who are now facing mandatory vaccinations through a mandate from CMS. Legal challenges to the mandates for the Head Start programs and federal contractors remain pending in court, while the injunction barring their implementation in Kentucky is in effect.
Separation of Powers Within State Government
Attorney General Cameron also safeguards the separation of powers within state government.
He joined Kentucky businesses in challenging the process used by the Governor to issue COVID-19 executive orders. In this case, the Supreme Court ruled the emergency orders were valid but also determined that the legislature could check the Governor's emergency powers by changing the law. During the 2021 legislative session, the General Assembly did just that by passing several laws placing modest limits on the Governor's emergency powers. The Governor responded by suing the Attorney General and the legislature.
Attorney General Cameron's office argued that the General Assembly is a separate, co-equal branch of government and must be able to make such changes to state law. In August 2021, the Kentucky Supreme Court unanimously agreed, writing that "[a]s we have noted time and again, so many times that we need not provide citation, the General Assembly establishes the public policy of the Commonwealth."