The Latest: Kentucky Supreme Court to hear Marsy’s Law case

November 15, 2018

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Latest on rulings from the Kentucky Supreme Court (all times local):

11:15 a.m.

The Kentucky Supreme Court says it will hear a case about whether a Constitutional amendment voters have approved will stand.

The court announced Thursday it will hear arguments on Feb. 8 for “Marsy’s Law.” The proposed amendment to the state Constitution would guarantee the rights of crime victims, including the right to be notified of and present for more court proceedings. Voters approved the amendment on Nov. 6 with nearly 63 percent of the vote.

But last month, a state judge ruled the question on the ballot was too vague. He ordered state election officials not to certify the election results until the case could be resolved.

Kentucky was one of six states with Marsy’s Law on the ballot this year. Voters approved the law in all six states.


10:35 a.m.

The Kentucky Supreme Court has upheld a law that bans labor unions from collecting mandatory dues from workers.

Federal law requires labor unions to represent all workers in a bargaining unit, even workers who do not join the union. Most union contracts require all workers to pay a fee to help the union enforce the contract. But at least 28 states have passed laws exempting workers from these fees.

None of those laws have been struck down by the courts. Kentucky’s law went into effect in January 2017. Labor unions argued it violated the state’s Constitutional ban on laws that unfairly target a specific group of people. But the court ruled the law is not discriminatory because it applies to all employers and employees, with a few exceptions.


10:21 a.m.

The Kentucky Supreme Court has struck down a law requiring a panel of doctors to review medical malpractice cases before they go to court.

The court ruled the law violates the state’s Constitution because it delays access to the courts. Kentucky Chief Justice John Minton wrote the opinion, with justices Lisabeth Hughes, Laurance VanMeter and Daniel Venters agreeing with it. Justices Samuel Wright, Michelle Keller and Bill Cunningham agreed with the result of the ruling, but for different reasons.

The law gives a panel of doctors nine months to review medical malpractice lawsuits and issue an opinion about whether they are frivolous. That opinion could then be used as evidence during a trial.

But section 14 of the state Constitution says every person has access to the courts without delay.

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