Friday, March 24, 2023
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Impeachment Petitions Filed Against Kentucky’s Governor & Attorney General

'We settle our policy difference at the ballot box, not like this...'

(Headline USA) Impeachment fever has struck Kentucky, where grievances over coronavirus restrictions and the outcome of the Breonna Taylor death investigation have spurred petitions to oust both the governor and the attorney general.

It’s a card rarely played in any serious way in the Bluegrass State, though Kentucky has had its share of provocative elected officials.

In the two new cases, the effort to impeach was triggered by disagreements over policy or executive decisions at the highest levels of Kentucky government.

Only a handful of Kentuckians submitted each petition, and it remains to be seen how seriously lawmakers take them. Republicans hold supermajorities in both chambers of the legislature.

The impeachment flurry began when four petitioners accused Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear of violating the state and U.S. constitutions with his restrictions to try to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

GOP House Speaker David Osborne took a different approach than some of his predecessors when he appointed four Republicans and three Democrats to a special committee.

In the past, such petitions went to the House Judiciary Committee, where Republicans now hold a commanding 14-4 advantage. Kentucky law requires the speaker to send impeachment petitions to a committee but doesn’t require it to take any action.

The impeachment committee met Wednesday and asked the governor for information on how his virus-related ban on mass gatherings last spring was enforced against churches, a move that especially angered conservatives.

Republican Rep. Jason Nemes, the panel’s chairman, said he hoped for a quick reply “so we can resolve this matter as expeditiously as possible.”

Another petition, filed against Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron, is less likely to gain traction than the Beshear petition because of the legislature’s makeup.

“I don’t think either will go anywhere,” said Scott Jennings, a Kentuckian and former adviser to President George W. Bush. “We settle our policy difference at the ballot box, not like this.”

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press.

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