Thayer’s troubling comments


We just posted a story about Damon Thayer, one of the Republican leaders in the state Senate, saying that he wants to “rein in” the judges in the state. He goes on to say that he wants to look at “judicial reform” in the next legislative session.

Here’s the problem: He didn’t mean “judicial reform”; he meant judicial CONTROL.

Damon Thayer said he wants to look at judicial reform. Here's the problem: He didn't mean 'judicial reform' – he meant judicial CONTROL.Click To Tweet

His words are troubling, and not least because they come across as the whining of someone who lost. Blaming the refs for a loss in basketball is one thing; blaming the judges because your case sucked is another.

But the sour grapes is the least thing to worry about here. The larger problem is that all across the country, Republicans are attacking the courts and the judges in order to get their un-democratic and unconstitutional policies enacted. They are not only complaining about the losses in the courts; they are actively changing the rules so they won’t lose again.

Governor Bevin has been attacking the judiciary for years. I had hoped that the rest of the Repubs would leave that to him, understanding how dangerous it is.

But now, at least one Republican leader is ready to capture the third branch of government in Kentucky, bending it to the will of the Repub majority in Frankfort.

I hope that, as people are focused on the holidays, they are still paying attention to concerns as significant as this.

Because if the Repubs get their way, and have the governor appoint judges, or cut the budget as blackmail of the judicial branch, then we lose one of our major ways of stopping bad policy and bad politics in Frankfort, no matter who is in charge.

The judiciary must remain independent. You don’t like how they rule on your laws? Write better laws. Don’t put them in sewer bills.

And don’t whine, and change the rules of the game, when you lose.

The judiciary must remain independent. You don't like how they rule on your laws? Write better laws. Don't put them in sewer bills. And don't whine, and change the rules of the game, when you lose.Click To Tweet


Bruce Maples
Bruce Maples has been involved in politics and activism since 2004, when he became active in the Kerry Kentucky movement. He has been President, Vice-President, and Treasurer of the Metro Democratic Club, and has served on the Democratic Party Executive Committee in Louisville. He began blogging in 2004, and currently operates two personal blogs ( and He founded Forward Kentucky in the wake of the state elections in 2015, and expanded it in the summer of 2016. He has lived in Louisville since 1992 with his wife and two sons.