Judge Shopping

Senate Bill Number: 

Senate Bill 2 would allow state officials and state agencies, if a defendant in cases filed in Franklin Circuit Court, to request the case be heard before a special judge. No reason for the transfer would have to be given.

The original bill said the chief justice of the state Supreme Court would select a judge randomly to hear the case. A committee substitute changes this to require the circuit court clerk in the county in which the action was originally filed to conduct a lottery drawing to select select a judge in another Kentucky judicial district to hear the case. The amended bill also removes jurisdiction for challenging the constitutionality of any legislative district from the Franklin Circuit Court (Senate Republicans are still smarting over the ruling of their last legislative redistricting plan as unconstitutional by Franklin Circuit Court).

Bill Sponsor(s): 
Sens. Robert Stivers, Damon Thayer, Stephen West

SB 2, as amended, passed the full Senate, 26-9, on February 28. It is now before the House Judiciary Committee.

House leaders already have given SB 2 one reading on the House floor, even though the bill has yet to be recommended by the Judiciary Committee. This indicates the desire by House Republicans to pass the bill.

KFTC's Position: 
KFTC Opposes