Reaction from constitutional law attorney Jenna Ellis, Trump campaign senior legal adviser.
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Jack Roberts, the pastor of Maryville Baptist Church in Hillview, along with dozens of other parishioners – some from out of state – attended Sunday’s service and later found quarantine notices on their cars’ windshields.
Kentucky State Police placed the notices on empty cars parked outside the church during the service. They ordered a self-quarantine for 14 days after attending a gathering of more than 10 people.
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Roberts told the Louisville Courier-Journal that if he received a notice from the Bullitt Country Health Department – which would send such orders – he would ignore it and let his lawyer handle it.
Some parishioners told the news outlet they would do the same thing.
State police said in a statement Monday that they issued notices on 33 vehicles and received 42 complaints about mass gatherings Sunday, the newspaper reported.
Roberts remains defiant of the state’s ban on mass gatherings as Kentucky fights to curb the spread of the respiratory virus, COVID-19.
In addition to notices on their windshields, parishioners who attended were met with nails on the road, and police noted their license plates.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer called the nails on the road an “act of vandalism.”
"Two wrongs don't make a right," Fischer said Monday, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. "I've been very emphatic about encouraging people to stay at home, certainly not having in-person worship services, but then that doesn't give you the right, if you don't agree with it, to go out and put nails in the parking lot.”
Since the start of the pandemic, Kentucky has recorded at least 2,048 positive coronavirus cases and at least 106 deaths as of Tuesday morning. More than 26,000 people have been tested, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks about the coronavirus during a news conference at the state Capitol in Frankfort, Ky. (Ryan C. Hermens//Lexington Herald-Leader via AP)
Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear, whose threatened ban against church gatherings the week before Easter Sunday was turned over by a federal judge on Saturday, criticized parishioners who risked their health and the health of others by attending the service.
Roberts said he is encouraging people to stay safe, but cannot tell them to avoid going to church in person. He said his church’s doors will remain open and won’t turn people away.
“The Baptist Church is not a church that’s a club for members only,” Roberts told the newspaper. “Our ministry is to reach everyone everywhere with the Gospel.”
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Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Thomas Massie, who condemned the move on Monday, blasted Beshear's threat.
"It’s ironic that the same weekend the governor let 600 felons out of jail, he began tracking Christians. I wonder if the governor even tested the inmates for COVID-19 before releasing them," Massie said, according to the newspaper.
Kentucky released inmates convicted of class C and D felonies, the state’s least serious felonies.
The fracas between Roberts and state officials comes as more and more communities are criticizing so-called extreme quarantine measures.
Fox News' Caleb Parke contributed to this report.