BY ERIN KELLY KENTUCKY
FRANKFORT, Ky. — After a year that saw Kentuckians challenge Gov. Andy Beshear’s executive orders on COVID-19, lawmakers are discussing House Bill 3.
What You Need To Know
- Lawmakers discuss House Bill 3
- Bill would allow people to file lawsuits against state, challenges to executive orders in the circuit court of the county where they live
- Senate committee has removed an earlier proposal that a 3-judge panel based on geography and population would hear the cases
- The bill has been approved to move to the full Senate.
“As our courts have grown, our circuits have grown, our districts have grown that it’s become more realistic that those matters should be heard in the local community. It goes to the almost local control issue,” said Rep. Ed Massey (R, Hebron).
Senator Whitney Westerfield (R, Crofton) calls Franklin Circuit a “super circuit,” with outsized significance.
“The decisions of those two circuit judges, which are identical to the circuit judges everywhere else in the state, in terms of qualification to run for that seat, issue rulings that have statewide impact on these matters, that super-politicizes that circuit,” she said.
For Senator Karen Berg (D, Louisville), the bill is a solution in need of a problem.
“I do not believe that it is our job, as the legislative branch, to instruct the judicial branch as to how to manage their responsibilities,” she said. “In fact, I see that as potentially dangerous.”
A Senate committee has removed an earlier proposal that a 3-judge panel based on geography and population would hear the cases. The bill has been approved to move to the full Senate.