Beshear asks state Supreme Court to continue with UofL case despite Gov. Bevin's motion to dismiss

01/20/2017 01:29 PM

On Saturday morning, the newly re-formed University of Louisville Board of Trustees will meet for the first time since the legislature passed a bill reorganizing the board and Gov. Matt Bevin appointed board members, but the court case challenging Bevin’s attempt to reorganize the board via executive order still sits before the Kentucky Supreme Court.

An attorney for the governor has argued the case is “moot,” since the legislature has acted and the legislation has become law, but in court documents Attorney General Andy Beshear disagrees with the assessment, and asks the court to hear the case and decide how far a governor’s executive powers extend.

“This appeal is not moot,” Beshear writes in the motion to the court. “Neither SB 12 nor SB 107 addresses the Governor’s attempts to exercise “absolute authority” over Kentucky’s public universities under KRS 12.028.”

Beshear’s argument to the Supreme Court is essentially that Bevin’s actions are likely to be repeated at other public colleges and universities in the commonwealth.

“Moreover, this appeal falls squarely within the “public interest” exception to the mootness doctrine, as “there is a need for an authoritative determination for the future guidance of public officers,” whether that office is the Governor or the next one.”

The Kentucky Supreme Court agreed to hear the case involving Bevin’s reorganization of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees on Jan. 9 , the same day SB 12, legislation reorganizing the board of trustees at UofL, was signed into law effective immediately.

Attorneys for Bevin had filed an appeal of a Franklin Circuit Court’s ruling that Bevin exceeded his authority when reorganizing the board in June of 2016.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges placed UofL on one-year probation based on actions by Bevin in reorganizing the university’s board of trustees in December of 2016. Former UofL President Jim Ramsey stepped down after the order from Bevin.

To download the full response to Bevin’s motion to dismiss click here: FILEDResponseToMTDAppealAsMoot.012017.pdf

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