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Judge strikes down law changing Ky. ethics commission selections

031022 Kentucky State Capitol STOCK_4
The State Capitol in Frankfort houses the three branches of Kentucky's state government.

A Kentucky judge has struck down a measure that would weaken Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s appointment authority.

The measure aimed to shift power to Republican officials to select a majority of members to the Executive Branch Ethics Commission.

Jefferson Circuit Judge McKay Chauvin ruled Monday. He said the measure “diminishes and diverts” the governor’s constitutional duty to ensure the executive branch ethics code is “faithfully executed.”

He said that by shifting appointment authority away from the governor, the law empowered other constitutional officers who aren’t “charged with that same constitutional duty."

The GOP-dominated legislature passed the measure this year over Beshear’s veto.

In a statement, GOP Senate President Robert Stivers said Republicans would appeal the ruling.

"The Kentucky General Assembly established the Executive Branch Ethics Commission and maintains the constitutional authority to modify its enabling statute," he said.


Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives. Email Ryland at rbarton@lpm.org.