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Daniel Cameron (American politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Daniel Cameron
Attorney General Daniel Cameron - Official Portrait.jpg
51st Attorney General of Kentucky
Assumed office
January 6, 2020
Acting: December 17, 2019 – January 6, 2020
GovernorAndy Beshear
Preceded byAndy Beshear
Personal details
Daniel Jay Cameron

(1985-11-22) November 22, 1985 (age 35)
Elizabethtown, Kentucky, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Elizabeth Cameron
(m. 2016⁠–⁠2017)
[citation needed]
Makenze Evans
(m. 2020)
EducationUniversity of Louisville (BS, JD)
WebsiteOfficial website

Daniel Jay Cameron (born November 22, 1985) is an American politician and lawyer serving as the 51st Attorney General of Kentucky.[2] Cameron is the first Republican elected to the office since 1944 and the first African-American attorney general of Kentucky.

During his tenure as Attorney General of Kentucky, Cameron was embroiled in controversy over his handling of the Breonna Taylor case, as well as unsuccessful legal challenges against Governor Andy Beshear's emergency COVID-19 public health measures.

Early life and education

Cameron was born and raised in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.[3] His mother was a professor at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College and his father owned a local coffee shop.[4] Cameron attended John Hardin High School in Elizabethtown and won a prize scholarship named in honor of Senator Mitch McConnell to attend the University of Louisville.[5][3][6] At Louisville, Cameron played on the Louisville Cardinals football team in 2005 and 2006.[6] A defensive back, Cameron came off the bench for the first two games of the 2006 season, during which Louisville won the 2007 Orange Bowl.[6][7]

He graduated from the University of Louisville with a Bachelor of Science in 2008, and then graduated in 2011 with a Juris Doctor from the university's Brandeis School of Law[3] where he was president of the Student Bar Association.[8]


Early career

Cameron was a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky for two years.[4]

After the clerkship with Judge Tatenhove, Cameron served as legal counsel to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from 2015 to 2017. As McConnell's counsel Cameron successfully spearheaded the confirmation processes for conservative federal judges, including Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. [4][9][10]

In 2017, Cameron moved back to Louisville and joined the law firm Frost Brown Todd as a senior associate.[4][11]

2019 election as Kentucky Attorney General

Cameron declared that he was running for Attorney General of Kentucky on January 21, 2019.[12] He defeated State Senator Wil Schroder in the Republican primary by a margin of 132,400 (55.3%) votes to 106,950 (44.7%) votes.[13][14] After the primary, Cameron was endorsed by President Donald Trump.[15][16]

In the November 2019 general election, Cameron defeated the Democratic nominee, former Attorney General Greg Stumbo, with 57.8% of the vote.[17][18]

He is the first Republican elected to be attorney general of Kentucky since Eldon S. Dummit, who served from 1944 to 1948.[16][19] He is also the state's first African-American attorney general.[15] Following Republican Lieutenant Governor Jenean Hampton, Cameron became Kentucky's second African-American statewide officer, and the first to be independently elected (given that Hampton had shared the 2015 gubernatorial ticket with Matt Bevin).

Tenure as Kentucky Attorney General

Cameron's term as attorney general was scheduled to begin on January 6, 2020,[20] but on December 17, 2019, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signed an executive order appointing Cameron to the office, filling the vacancy created when Beshear resigned after winning election to the governorship.[21][22][19][23] Immediately after the order was signed, Cameron was officially sworn in.[24][25]

Proposed abortion halt

On March 27, 2020, Cameron called for halting abortions in Kentucky during the coronavirus pandemic, arguing it was an elective medical procedure that should fall under the statewide ban for the duration of the pandemic.[26] During the closing days of the legislative session, the Kentucky legislature voted to give the attorney general power to regulate abortion clinics, but the legislation was vetoed by Andy Beshear, the state's Democratic governor.[27]

Lawsuit challenging public health measures to combat COVID-19

Cameron initiated legal challenges to executive actions that Governor Beshear took to combat the spread of COVID-19.[28][29] In a court filing in July 2020, Cameron asked a state judge to invalidate all of Beshear's COVID-19 orders and to bar the governor from issuing or enforcing any further COVID-19 order."[30][31] Cameron described his request as an attempt "to protect the rights of Kentuckians"; Beshear condemned Cameron's motion as "scary and reckless" and said it would endanger public health, lead to more deaths, and harm the economy.[30][31] The governor noted that Cameron's filing called for the invalidation of executive action that required face masks in public places, imposed restrictions on public gatherings, expanded workers' compensation eligibility for workers under quarantine due to exposure to the virus, and the waiver of copays, deductibles, and other costs associated with COVID-19-related healthcare.[30] In an interim order in July 2020, the Kentucky Supreme Court blocked efforts by Cameron and lower courts to nullify the executive orders pending the state Supreme Court's own review.[32][33] In November 2020, the Kentucky Supreme Court unanimously upheld the constitutionality of Beshear's emergency coronavirus executive orders.[34]

Breonna Taylor case

Following the police killing of Breonna Taylor on March 13, 2020, the Louisville Police Department conducted an internal investigation on the case. On July 14, 2020, over 100 protestors organized by the social justice organization Until Freedom marched to Cameron's house and occupied his lawn to demand charges be brought to the officers involved in the killing. Police officers arrested 87 protestors and charged them with several crimes including Intimidating a Participant in the Legal Process, a Class D felony. Cameron accused the protestors of trespassing on private property and claimed the protest's purpose was to "escalate" tension and division in the community.[35][36][37]

On September 23, 2020, Cameron announced that the grand jury indicted officer Brett Hankison with three counts of wanton endangerment with regards to the family living next door. Officers Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove were not charged with any crimes and Cameron said that their firing into Taylor's apartment was a justified use of force.[38] Interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder had previously moved to fire Hankinson, stating that he had indiscriminately fired into Taylor's apartment and adjoining units.[39][40][41]

At the news conference in Frankfort, announcing the wanton endangerment charges against Hankison, Cameron choked up and expressed "My heart breaks for the loss of Miss Taylor."[42] Cameron initially said at the news conference that he had walked the grand jury through "every homicide offense, and also presented all of the information that was available."[43] The Louisville Courier Journal raised questions about whether the grand jury was allowed to decide if charges should have been pressed against Mattingly and Cosgrove or if prosecutors decided that the officers acted in self-defense without submitting the issue to the grand jury. Attorneys for Hankison and Walker requested the release of the grand jury transcript and related evidence.[44] On September 28, 2020, a grand juror filed a court motion stating that Cameron had mischaracterized the grand-jury proceedings and was "using grand jurors as a shield to deflect accountability and responsibility" for charging decisions.[43] A judge ordered the release of the grand jury proceedings' recording.[45][46][47] A day later, Cameron said that he did not recommend murder charges to the grand jury, but maintained that he presented "a thorough and complete case" to the grand jurors.[43]

National politics

After his election as Kentucky attorney general, Cameron was seen as a rising star in the Republican Party.[48][49] He spoke at the 2020 Republican National Convention on August 24, 2020.[50]

In September 2020, Cameron appeared on a shortlist of potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees by President Donald Trump.[51][52]

Personal life

Cameron has been married twice. His first marriage, to Elizabeth Cameron, lasted from 2016 to 2017. He married a second time on July 31, 2020 in Louisville to Makenze Evans, a schoolteacher.[53][1]

See also


  1. ^ a b Sadeghi, McKenzie (September 26, 2020). "Fact check: Kentucky attorney general is not married to a relative of Mitch McConnell". USA Today. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
  2. ^ Cheves, John (November 5, 2019). "Daniel Cameron elected Kentucky attorney general, says he will support GOP leaders". Lexington Herald-Leader. Archived from the original on November 6, 2019. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Neuhauser, Ken (May 15, 2011). "U of L's graduates get chance to shine". Courier - Journal.
  4. ^ a b c d Bailey, Phillip (December 21, 2018). "Mitch McConnell's former lawyer may run for Kentucky attorney general". Courier Journal. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  5. ^ "Political buff goes from the Hill to the 'Ville: Louisville". Chicago Sun Times. October 4, 2006.
  6. ^ a b c "Football - University of Louisville Official Athletic Site". January 13, 2007. Archived from the original on January 13, 2007.
  7. ^ "Football - University of Louisville Official Athletic Site". April 16, 2008. Archived from the original on April 16, 2008.
  8. ^ Duvall, Tessa (July 15, 2020). "What to know about Daniel Cameron, the attorney general deciding the Breonna Taylor case". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  9. ^ "McConnell's legal counsel leaves Washington for CivicPoint in Louisville". Lane Report. July 25, 2017. Archived from the original on August 1, 2019. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Huddle". Politico. June 5, 2017. Archived from the original on July 31, 2019. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  12. ^ "Daniel Cameron announces candidacy for Kentucky Attorney General". January 21, 2019. Archived from the original on July 25, 2019. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  13. ^ Wartman, Scott (May 14, 2019). "Kentucky AG candidate Wil Schroder shoots a TV, denounces 'illegals,' praises Trump, all in one ad". Cincinnati Enquirer. Archived from the original on July 31, 2019. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  14. ^ "Kentucky Primary Election Results". New York Times. May 22, 2019. Archived from the original on July 24, 2019. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  15. ^ a b Crain, Brennan (July 31, 2019). "Trump endorses Cameron for attorney general". WCLU. Archived from the original on August 1, 2019. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  16. ^ a b "President Trump endorses Daniel Cameron in Kentucky attorney general race". WKYT-TV. July 29, 2019. Archived from the original on July 31, 2019. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  17. ^ Wiegel, David (May 23, 2019). "Democrats look past 2020". Washington Post. Archived from the original on July 31, 2019. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  18. ^ "Republican Daniel Cameron wins Kentucky attorney general contest". WDRB TV. Louisville, KY. November 5, 2019.
  19. ^ a b "Daniel Cameron becomes Kentucky's first African American attorney general". Archived from the original on December 17, 2019. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  20. ^ Cooney, Lynnette. "Andy Beshear appoints Attorney General-elect Daniel Cameron to fill remainder of his term". Archived from the original on December 10, 2019. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  21. ^ "Daniel Cameron Officially Sworn in As Attorney General". Archived from the original on December 17, 2019. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  22. ^ Baute, Sean. "Daniel Cameron sworn in as Kentucky attorney general". Archived from the original on December 17, 2019. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  23. ^ "Cameron to be sworn in as Ky. AG on Dec. 17".
  24. ^ Easley, Timothy D.; Easley, Timothy D.; Desrochers, Daniel (December 10, 2019). "It's official: Andy Beshear sworn in as 63rd governor of Kentucky at midnight". Archived from the original on December 11, 2019. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  25. ^ "Beshear to appoint AG-elect Cameron to complete rest of term". WHAS11. Archived from the original on December 10, 2019. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  26. ^ Olson, Tyler (March 28, 2020). "Kentucky AG calls for halt on abortions during coronavirus crisis". Fox News. Archived from the original on March 29, 2020. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  27. ^ Bruce Schreiner, Kentucky's Democratic governor vetoes abortion legislation, Associated Press (April 24, 2020).
  28. ^ Bruce Schreiner, Kentucky AG in spotlight over Breonna Taylor probe, Associated Press (August 24, 2020).
  29. ^ Bruce Schreiner & Dylan Lovan, Kentucky AG takes more aggressive stand against virus orders, Associated Press (April 28, 2020).
  30. ^ a b c Jack Brammer, Attorney General asks state judge to block all of Beshear's COVID-19 orders, Lexington Herald Leader (July 16, 2020).
  31. ^ a b Joe Sonka, 'People would die': Andy Beshear blasts Daniel Cameron's effort to block COVID-19 orders, Louisville Courier Journal (July 16, 2020).
  32. ^ Bruce Schreiner, Kentucky high court blocks efforts to suspend COVID-19 rules, Associated Press (July 17, 2020).
  33. ^ Bruce Schreiner, Kentucky court hears case challenging coronavirus orders, Associated Press (September 17, 2020).
  34. ^ Higgins-Dunn, Noah (November 12, 2020). "Kentucky Supreme Court upholds Gov. Beshear's mask mandate, emergency restrictions". CNBC. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  35. ^ Tobin, Bailey Loosemore, Hayes Gardner and Ben. "Protesters converge on Daniel Cameron's Louisville home to demand justice for Breonna Taylor". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  36. ^ "Kentucky AG Says Protesters Demanding Charges in Breonna Taylor Case Were 'Trespassing' in Front of His Home". Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  37. ^ "87 people charged with felonies after Breonna Taylor protest at attorney general's house". Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  38. ^ Darcy Costello, Key takeaways from AG Daniel Cameron's investigation on the Breonna Taylor case, Louisville Courier Journal (September 23, 2020).
  39. ^ Former Detective Brett Hankison faces 3 charges after Breonna Taylor shooting - Darcy Costello and Tessa Duvall - Louisville Courier Journal - Sept. 23, 2020
  40. ^ Staff. "Grand Jury Indicts Brett Hankison For Wanton Endangerment In Breonna Taylor Case". Kentucky Politics. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  41. ^ Duvall, Darcy Costello and Tessa. "Who are the 3 Louisville officers involved in the Breonna Taylor shooting? What we know". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  42. ^ Wagner, Lisa J. Adams; Schreiner, Bruce (September 24, 2020). "Black attorney general chokes up during Taylor announcement". Associated Press. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  43. ^ a b c Hannah Knowles & Marisa Iati, Kentucky attorney general says he did not present homicide charges to grand jury in Breonna Taylor case, Washington Post (September 28, 2020).
  44. ^ Wolfson, Andrew (September 26, 2020). "The 'very troubling' questions AG Cameron isn't answering on the Breonna Taylor decision". Louisville Courier Journal. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
  45. ^ Vogt, Dustin. "Ky. AG Cameron to release grand jury recording Wednesday following grand juror motion". Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  46. ^ Costello, Tessa Duvall and Darcy. "Grand juror files suit to release transcript, permission to speak on Breonna Taylor case". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  47. ^ Callimachi, Rukmini (September 28, 2020). "Grand Jury Deliberations in Breonna Taylor Case Will Be Released". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  48. ^ Wilson, Reid (November 13, 2019). "McConnell protege emerges as Kentucky's next rising star". The Hill. Archived from the original on November 13, 2019. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  49. ^ Campo-Flores, Arian (September 26, 2020). "Breonna Taylor Case Prosecutor Is Known as a Republican to Watch". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  50. ^ Astor, Maggie (August 25, 2020). "Daniel Cameron, Kentucky A.G., Speaks at the R.N.C.: Full Transcript". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
  51. ^ Ladd, Andrew Wolfson, Ben Tobin and Sarah. "Trump lists Kentucky AG Daniel Cameron as potential US Supreme Court nominee". The Courier-Journal.
  52. ^ Conradis, Brandon (September 9, 2020). "Trump unveils Supreme Court list, includes Cruz and Cotton". TheHill.
  53. ^ Farrell, Paul (September 25, 2020). "Makenze Evans: Daniel Cameron Is Not Married to Mitch McConnell's Granddaughter". Heavy. Retrieved September 28, 2020.

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Andy Beshear
Attorney General of Kentucky
This page was last edited on 11 April 2021, at 20:09
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