Minton Reveals First Judicial Redistricting Plan in Kentucky Since 1892
The head of the Kentucky Supreme Court is asking the state legislature to approve the first judicial redistricting plan the Commonwealth has seen in more than 120 years.
The Supreme Court approved the measure earlier this monthwith western Kentucky Justice Bill Cunningham casting the lone ‘no’ vote.
Chief Justice John Minton’s proposal moves some of the state’s jurisdictional boundaries, notably eliminating the 1st District in far western Kentucky.
In that instance, Fulton, Hickman and Carlisle counties would join Graves County’s 52nd district. Ballard County would join McCracken County in the 2nd District.
Minton says a Judicial Workload Assessment Committee report called for relocating resources and caseloads in certain parts of the state.
“We had to make some choices, for the benefit of the entire state," said Minton. "And in some instances there’s a variation from the last report of the JWAC was, but in not many, it was pretty much accepted, but in some places it changes. And McCracken is one of those places.”
Other changes include bringing Family Court to all but 10 jurisdictions, alter the cutoff for judicial need in circuits, and moving judges with lower workloads to areas of greater need.
Minton says the modern court system still uses a formula for caseload and resource allocations from the 1970s, but population and caseload types have changed significantly since.
“What we’re seeing across the state and across the country is this trend of a growing volume of cases brought, family type cases being brought to court and a diminishing number of what are called traditional circuit cases being brought to court.”
If the next General Assembly passes the measure, the plan will take effect in 2022, the next time Circuit, Family and District Court judges run for election concurrently.