Court hears arguments in case pitting Gov. Bevin against Andy Beshear

Courtesy: WKYT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP/WKYT) - Kentucky's Supreme Court heard arguments in a lawsuit challenging Gov. Matt Bevin's executive action overhauling several state boards that oversee public education.

Attorney General Andy Beshear told the court on Friday that the independence of those boards is at stake. Bevin's attorney, Steve Pitt, said governors have used such executive authority for decades to make changes to boards and commissions.

The case is the latest round in a feud between the Republican governor and Democratic attorney general. The lawsuits have been tinged with politics.

Bevin is seeking re-election this year and Beshear is among Democrats running to oust him.

Beshear said the case is important to preserve the separation of power between branches of government. Pitt says Beshear has used those executive powers to make changes in his office.

Sister station WKYT reports that Friday's hearing was an appeal of a judge's ruling from Franklin Circuit Court. That judge said Bevin's executive action was okay because the legislature was not in session.

"This is our system of public education and the governor wants to be able to control every part of it," said Beshear.

"The main point here is that for almost 60 years the governor, whoever that person has been, has had the power to re-organize boards and commissions in the executive branch during the interim between legislative sessions," said Pitt.

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