Kentucky Supreme Court

Jess Clark

A federal district judge heard arguments Tuesday in a case brought by several Kentucky Board of Education members ousted by Gov. Andy Beshear.

The members, all appointed by former Gov. Matt Bevin, are asking the court to stop the Beshear-appointed board from meeting.

The seven former board members say Beshear’s decision to remove them shortly after his election was illegal. They asked a state court for a preliminary injunction to prevent the new board from meeting in December, but the state court denied that request. Now, the Bevin appointees are suing in federal court.

 


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The Kentucky Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit against Lexington T-shirt maker Hands On Originals, which refused to print T-shirts for a 2012 gay pride festival on religious grounds.

The court did not address the main arguments of the case, instead ruling that Lexington’s anti-discrimination ordinance does not protect groups who feel they have been discriminated against — only individuals.

 


Kentucky Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Pension Case

Oct 24, 2019
Kentucky Office of the Courts

Government employees in Kentucky who sued over state investment decisions have taken their case to the state's Supreme Court after a lower court said they lacked standing to file suit.

The Supreme Court heard arguments in the case Thursday.

The fraud lawsuit was filed two years ago by a group of public workers. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports they claim out-of-state firms cheated Kentucky Retirement Systems on $1.5 billion in hedge-fund investments. The suit was dismissed by Kentucky's Court of Appeals.

Kentucky Supreme Court Candidates Offer Starkly Different Resumes

Oct 21, 2019
Ryland Barton

Two believers in the conservative judicial philosophy of the late Antonin Scalia are highlighting starkly different resumes while making their case to voters in competing for a seat on the Kentucky Supreme Court.

State Sen. Whitney Westerfield and Judge Christopher Shea Nickell are vying to represent a 24-county western Kentucky district on the state’s highest court. The region’s voters will choose their new justice on Nov. 5, and the winner will serve the remainder of retired Justice Bill Cunningham’s term ending in 2022.

Public Domain

The Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled that Gov. Matt Bevin is allowed to reject contracts Attorney General Andy Beshear made with private law firms to sue drugmakers over their role in the state’s opioid epidemic.

Beshear’s office has sought assistance from several law firms as it sues drug manufacturers and distributors in nine different cases.

In a statement, Bevin celebrated the legal victory, accusing Beshear of trying to direct contracts to “his friends and campaign donors.”

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The Kentucky Supreme Court heard arguments Friday over whether a Lexington company was allowed to refuse to print T-shirts for organizers of the city’s gay pride parade.

Blaine Adams, the owner of Hands On Originals, refused to make T-shirts for Lexington’s Gay and Lesbian Services Organization in 2012, saying that doing so would have violated his religious beliefs.

GLSO filed a complaint with the Lexington Human Rights Commission, which said the company had violated the city’s fairness ordinance.

J. Tyler Franklin

The Kentucky Supreme Court will soon decide whether the Commonwealth of Kentucky should give a mom with intellectual disabilities another chance to regain custody of her child. The court heard oral arguments Wednesday in a case that could have far-reaching implications for the parental rights of people with disabilities in Kentucky.

The case before the court boils down to whether the Cabinet for Health and Family Services provided reasonable accommodations to a mother with autism and a low IQ. The state removed her baby shortly after birth, and the woman has spent years trying to regain custody.

Lisa Autry

Kentucky’s chief justice of the Supreme Court says he expects bail reform to come up again in the state legislature. 

John Minton Jr. says the current method of setting bail disproportionately affects low-income defendants who aren’t able to pay for release after being charged with low-level, non-violent offenses. 

Minton addressed members of the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club on Wednesday.

Despite legislation failing to pass the General Assembly this year, he said going to a cashless bail system has bi-partisan support.

Public Domain

The Kentucky Supreme Court heard another lawsuit between Attorney General Andy Beshear and Gov. Matt Bevin on Friday.

Once again, the legal challenge was over to what extent the governor has authority to reorganize state boards while the legislature isn’t in session — this time it had to do with Bevin’s overhaul of several state education boards in the summer of 2017.

Beshear argued that the governor overstepped his authority.

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  The Supreme Court of Kentucky heard arguments Friday about the wording of the Marsy’s Law amendment voters saw on the ballot last November. The proposal would add new rights for crime victims to the state constitution.

Even though 63 percent of Kentucky voters approved Marsy’s Law on Election Day, the measure has been delayed by a lawsuit that says the ballot question was too vague.

marsyslaw.us

Marsy’s Law will go before the Kentucky Supreme Court on Friday, three months after the state's voters approved the measure as a constitutional amendment. 

The measure giving constitutional rights to crime victims was approved by voters in the Nov. 6 election with 63 percent support, but a legal challenge has prevented the law from being enacted.  The law gives crime victims the same rights as the accused, including a voice in the judicial process. 

J. Tyler Franklin

A little less than 48 hours after Gov. Matt Bevin summoned lawmakers to Frankfort to make changes to the state’s pension systems, the legislature voted to end the special session.

The development is a blow to the governor, who called the special session days after the state Supreme Court struck down a new pension law that Bevin signed earlier this year.

Bevin defended his decision to call the session despite the $65,000-per day cost.

Ryland Barton

After Gov. Matt Bevin called a surprise legislative session on Monday afternoon, state lawmakers traveled to Frankfort and began working on a new attempt to overhaul the state’s pension systems.

Following hours of closed-door discussion, Republican leaders of the legislature filed two different versions of a new pension bill. One is similar to legislation struck down by the Kentucky Supreme Court and the other is a new proposal brought by Gov. Matt Bevin.

Kentucky AG Opposes Ruling Striking Down Health Care Law

Dec 17, 2018
Ryland Barton

Heading into a 2019 race for governor, Kentucky's Democratic Attorney General said Monday he will have a "more vocal" role in appealing a recent federal court ruling that struck down a federal law giving government-funded health coverage to more than 400,000 Kentuckians.

The Friday ruling from Texas U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor likely won't take effect while the case enters a lengthy appeals process. But the decision ensures health care, specifically Medicaid, will stay in focus during one of the nation's three governor's races next year.

Lisa Autry

The Kentucky Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that made changes to one of the country’s worst-funded public pension systems.  The state’s Democratic attorney general called it a "landmark win for all our public servants" while the Republican governor warned the ruling would "destroy the financial condition of Kentucky." 

In a 7-0 decision, justices found that me manner in which the General Assembly passed pension reform legislation this year violated the state Constitution.

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