Judge rules in Beshear’s favor on ethics commission

Forward Kentucky
Forward Kentucky

In this year’s General Assembly, the GOP-controlled legislature passed a bill that removed Governor Beshear’s ability to appoint all members of the Executive Ethics commission, and instead had each statewide constitutional officer nominate one person each to the board.

On Monday, Jefferson Circuit Judge McKay Chauvin struck down the law, saying it “diminishes and diverts” the governor’s constitutional duty to see that the laws are faithfully executed. In addition, it gives that power to the other statewide officers, who do not have a similar responsibility, thus making it unconstitutional.

According to Chauvin, “An incursion by one branch of government into the powers and functions of another threatens the balance of power purposely and purposefully established in the Kentucky Constitution as foundational to our democracy.”

Attorney General Daniel Cameron and the other statewide officers — all Republicans — said they will appeal the ruling.

Crystal Staley, the governor’s spokesperson, said in a statement, “This is an important ruling that shows the rules stay the same for everyone and that Gov. Beshear has the same authority as every governor before him. This was an attempt by the General Assembly to politicize and even weaponize the Executive Branch Ethics Commission.”

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