politics

Updated at 8:15 p.m. ET

In a pair of historic rulings, the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected President Trump's claim of absolute immunity under the law. The vote was 7 to 2 in two decisions Thursday involving grand jury and congressional subpoenas for Trump's pre-presidential financial records.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the court's two decisions, declaring, "In our system, the public has a right to every man's evidence," and "since the founding of the Republic, every man has included the President of the United States."

Jacob Ryan

A group of voters and advocacy groups are suing to get Kentucky to continue offering mail-in voting to all eligible voters during the November General Election.

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear and Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams expanded mail-in voting ahead of Kentucky’s June 23rd primary election in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

But no arrangements have been made to continue allowing all Kentucky voters to cast ballots by mail on November 3.

Stephanie Wolf

Kentucky’s Senior U.S. Senator, Republican Mitch McConnell, was in Kentucky Monday to talk about the $12 billion in CARES Act funding received by the state. McConnell’s first stop was at the Dare to Care food bank in Louisville, a nonprofit that received a Payroll Protection Program loan, where he spoke with reporters and greeted workers.

McConnell pointed to the food bank as one of the 47,000 small businesses in the state to receive a PPP loan, totaling $5.2 billion in federal funds.  At the first press conference, McConnell said he expects another federal relief package to get approval sometime in July, as the pandemic is “clearly not over”, he said. COVID-19 has been surging in states like Arizona, Texas and Florida. The senate majority leader said he thinks the next aid bill must address issues like healthcare, jobs, getting kids back in school and liability protection.

President Trump is escalating his fight with Congress over a broad bipartisan effort to rename military installations named for figures from the Confederacy, threatening to veto an annual defense bill if it includes the provision.

The Senate is debating the National Defense Authorization Act, which already includes the provision backed by most members of the Senate panel. Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of House lawmakers is looking to add the change as part of ongoing negotiations for its version of the defense legislation.

WKU Public Radio

It's one week after Kentucky's delayed primary election, and county clerks' offices across the state are reporting their vote counts to the Kentucky Secretary of State. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, every registered voter was allowed to request an absentee ballot that could be returned through the mail. Counting all of those ballots, plus early votes cast at local county clerks' offices, and votes cast at polling places on primary day. 

1:14 p.m.: There were a number of Kentucky House and Senate seats on primary ballots this month, including a Senate district special election to replace a retiring lawmaker. Here are the results:

Senate District 26 Special Election: Karen Berg, a Democrat and a physician, has won the special election for Kentucky’s 26th Senate district, which was vacated by longtime GOP Sen. Ernie Harris, who retired earlier this year.

Kevin Willis

Kentucky’s primary election on Tuesday went pretty smoothly, despite claims from national celebrities and politicians that there would be widespread chaos as a result of having fewer in-person polling places in the state.

But even though it appears there was record voter turnout during the election, there were still some problems.

Voters in Lexington had to wait in line for up to two hours at the city’s only polling place. And though every Kentucky voter was allowed to cast a ballot by mail, some said they never received one (those voters were allowed to cast a ballot in person as long as they “canceled” their absentee ballot).

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear and Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams made the changes to Kentucky’s election processes in response to the coronavirus pandemic, in an attempt to reduce voters’ and poll workers’ exposure on primary day.

While official results of Kentucky’s primary election won’t be known until early next week, both parties are calling the voting process a win. 

Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams says Kentucky offered the nation a model for success in conducting an election during a pandemic. 

"I’m proud of the resilient Kentucky voters who refused to let a virus disenfranchise them," Adams said in a statement. "While in so many categories Kentucky remains near the bottom, today Kentucky is first in something – conducting elections, even under extreme circumstances, and exhibiting grace under pressure."


Updated at 4:29 p.m. ET

Justice Department witnesses told House lawmakers on Wednesday they've observed political interference in big cases, including those involving a friend of President Trump's.

Two currently serving lawyers appeared before the House Judiciary Committee to detail their concerns, which were revealed Tuesday in written testimony they prepared ahead of time.

Kevin Willis

While the phrase “All Eyes on Kentucky” was trending on primary election day, voters here in Kentucky will have to keep watching for another week to see who won.

Typically, the State Board of Elections will announce preliminary results the day votes are cast. This year, however, results will be made public on June 30. This is part of Gov. Andy Beshear and Secretary of State Michael Adams’ agreement to expand mail-in voting in order to prevent the coronavirus from spreading inside crowded polling locations.

WKU Public Radio

Voters filed in to polling places across Kentucky on Tuesday to cast ballots during the state’s primary election, with initial estimates pointing to a record high voter turnout.

Final results of the election will be released in coming days as officials count mail-in ballots, which all Kentucky voters had the opportunity to cast this year in an effort to reduce exposure to the coronavirus.

And despite warnings from national political figures about chaos at the polls, things went pretty smoothly in Kentucky, though the election did have its hiccups.

Updated at 7:14 p.m. ET

A current Justice Department prosecutor is planning to tell lawmakers on Wednesday that in his many years in the government, "I have never seen political influence play any role in prosecutorial decision making. With one exception: United States v. Roger Stone," according to a copy of his prepared testimony.

Progressives are mounting efforts to best establishment Democrats in Kentucky and New York Tuesday.

Black Lives Matter protests around the country have added energy to the left, and Black progressives are surging in contests in both states.

In Kentucky, the race between the two leading Democrats vying for the right to likely take on Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is coming down to the wire. All the momentum is on the side of state Rep. Charles Booker over Amy McGrath, a retired Marine fighter pilot with a lot of money and the party's backing.

WKU Public Radio

A federal judge has ruled that Kentucky’s most populous counties will not have more than one polling location during the upcoming primary elections.

The decision comes after a lawsuit filed by state Rep. Jason Nemes, a Republican from Louisville, which sought to add more polling locations in five of the state’s most populous counties.

Most Kentucky counties, including Jefferson County, will only have one polling location. All voters were allowed to cast ballots by mail ahead of Kentucky’s primary elections, which will take place on June 23.

Updated at 6:35 p.m. ET

In a major rebuke to President Trump, the U.S. Supreme Court has blocked the administration's plan to dismantle an Obama-era program that has protected 700,000 so-called DREAMers from deportation. The vote was 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing the opinion.

Ryland Barton

As the country struggled with another round of mass shootings last summer, a group gathered on the steps of the federal courthouse in Louisville calling for Mitch McConnell to pass some sort of gun control legislation.

It was August, right after the shootings in Dayton and El Paso, and Mike Broihier was there to speak. He had just launched his Senate campaign about a month before.

“The people who have been vetted and funded by the NRA and the gun industry need to make a choice,” Broihier said.

 


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