FOCUS ON THE COURTS
The Partnership for Commonsense Justice serves as a true watchdog on the courts and a champion for judicial candidates who will smartly limit legal liability in the Commonwealth.
Nearly 900,000 cases flow through Kentucky courtrooms each year, affecting millions of citizens. However, for too long, Kentucky’s courts have played an outsized role in determining policy and thwarting the interests of voters. Decades-long efforts to establish fair limits on certain liability damages have routinely been blocked by the courts.
Much of the state does not participate in judicial elections, with many voters unaware that they even take place. In 2006—a year in which almost every judicial seat in the state was on the ballot—just one-third of registered voters participated in judicial elections. The average turnout for contested judicial races that year was 38.9 percent—more than 10 percent lower than the overall statewide turnout of 49 percent.
For the sake of the future of our commonwealth, this must change.
Between 2019 and 2022, five of the Kentucky Supreme Court’s seven justices will be up for election. Voters deserve to know more about judicial candidates and where they stand on key issues impacting Kentucky’s competitiveness and access to care.
The Kentucky Supreme Court was created in 1975 through an amendment to the state constitution. It consists of seven justices who are elected in nonpartisan races from the seven appellate districts and serve eight-year terms. The Supreme Court operates out of Franklin County.
The Kentucky Court of Appeals is made up of 14 judges—two elected from each of the seven appellate districts. The judges are divided into panels of three to review and decide cases, which almost always come to the Court on appeal from a lower court, and travel throughout the state to hear cases