Politics & Government

Beshear seeks state Supreme Court ruling on Bevin’s U of L board overhaul

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear, left, and Gov. Matt Bevin.
Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear, left, and Gov. Matt Bevin. File photos.

Attorney General Andy Beshear wants the Kentucky Supreme Court to settle whether Gov. Matt Bevin had the authority to overhaul the University of Louisville’s Board of Trustees, once and for all.

Beshear on Monday requested that Bevin’s appeal of Franklin Circuit Court’s decision to block the overhaul of the board be taken directly to the Supreme Court and skip the Court of Appeals.

Bevin has 30 days to protest the request.

The case stems from Bevin’s decision to abolish the University of Louisville Board of Trustees and create a smaller, 13-member board in June through executive order. Beshear challenged Bevin’s executive order in court, arguing that the governor did not have “absolute authority” to restructure the board and saying it put the university’s accreditation at risk.

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled in favor of Beshear in July and temporarily blocked Bevin’s overhaul of U of L’s Board of Trustees. He then sided with Beshear again in October and denied Bevin’s request for reconsideration of the case.

Bevin had 20 days to decide if he wanted to appeal Shepherd’s decision and on Monday, filed his appeal. Beshear responded by making a motion to transfer the case to the Supreme Court.

The Board of Trustees currently has 20 members. Under Bevin’s new setup, the board would consist of 10 governor-appointed trustees, a teaching faculty member, a permanent staff member and the president of the student body.