Kentucky Supreme Court

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.

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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.

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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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Republican leaders of the Kentucky legislature say they will consider passing another bill dealing with state workers’ retirement benefits if the state Supreme Court strikes down the controversial pension bill that drew thousands of protesters to Frankfort earlier this year.

A lower court blocked the pension bill from going into effect over the summer and a Supreme Court decision over an appeal of the case could come as soon as next week.

Creative Commons

The Kentucky Supreme Court has struck down a new law that requires medical malpractice claims to be screened by a panel of doctors before they can move on to court, saying that the measure “delays access to the courts.”

In an opinion written by Chief Justice John Minton, the court ruled that the measure violated the state constitution.

“Of all the rights guaranteed by state constitutions but absent from the federal Bill of Rights, the guarantee of a right of access to the courts to obtain a remedy for injury is possibly the most important,” Minton wrote.

Creative Commons

The Kentucky Supreme Court has upheld the state’s “right-to-work” law, a measure that bans unionized companies from requiring workers to pay union dues.

The Republican-controlled legislature passed the law last year, saying that it would make Kentucky more attractive to businesses looking to relocate to the state. Unions quickly sued to try and block the legislation.

In a 4-3 ruling, the high court rejected the challenge. Justice Laurance VanMeter wrote that “the legislature is permitted to set the economic policy for the Commonwealth.”

Creative Commons

The lawsuit against Kentucky’s new pension law will be heard by the Supreme Court of Kentucky on Thursday, pitting Kentucky’s two preeminent political rivals against each other and putting retirement benefits for thousands of teachers and state workers in the balance.

The pension changes were passed during this year’s legislative session amid massive protests and were blocked by a lower court, which ruled that lawmakers violated the state constitution by rushing the bill to passage during a matter of hours.

Pension Arguments to be Aired on Statewide Television

Sep 12, 2018
Public Domain

Arguments before the Kentucky Supreme Court about the future of the state's public pension system will be broadcast live on statewide television.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the Supreme Court is partnering with Kentucky Educational Television to broadcast the arguments on Sept. 20th. It will be the second time in the court's history its proceedings will be aired live on TV.

Ryland Barton

The Kentucky Supreme Court on Wednesday heard arguments over the state’s medical review panel law, which requires people suing doctors for malpractice to have their cases screened by a group of doctors before they can proceed to court.

Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration, which is defending the policy, argues that it helps weed out frivolous malpractice claims and makes the state more attractive to health care providers.

J. Guthrie True, an attorney representing people who say they’ve been negatively affected by the law, argues that it delays the process and forces plaintiffs to spend more money ahead of court proceedings.

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