The state’s Senate Judiciary Committee has confirmed a dozen judicial nominees, including seven who will be confirmed for the bench, to fill vacancies that have arisen in the state’s judiciary, including the state Supreme Court, the state appeals courts, and the state supreme court itself.
The senators’ approval of the nominations comes just hours after the Judiciary Committee approved a handful of other nominees.
There are now 19 judicial vacancies that require confirmation in Kentucky, according to the state Legislative Reference Bureau.
The state Supreme Judicial Court was created by the state Constitution in 1873 and is a federal district court.
The district court has three judges: a conservative, a liberal, and a progressive.
The court has never held a federal case, but has served as the nation’s third-most populous court, serving more than 2.3 million people and having nearly $100 billion in assets.
Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Richard Lee Roberts was nominated to fill a vacancy in the court that would have left four justices of the court without tenure, according the Legislative Reference Bureau.
Roberts was nominated in a special session of the Kentucky Legislature.
His nomination was unanimously approved by the Judiciary and General Assembly, but it was not immediately announced when the Senate Judiciary committee would vote on Roberts’ nomination.
In a statement, Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear said that Roberts is a qualified candidate who will represent the people of Kentucky in the United States Supreme Court and on the state court.
Roberts has been a judge in the U.S. Supreme Court for 30 years and served as an associate judge in that court from 1991 to 2006, according his bio on the Kentucky Judicial Academy website.
“He is a respected and well-regarded jurist, and his nomination is a confirmation that all of Kentucky will be able to count on for the long term,” Beshears statement said.
Sen. Pat Bryant, the Republican who is the chairman of the Judiciary committee, said in a statement that Roberts will be “a superb attorney, a tireless public servant, and someone who will serve Kentuckians well.”
The Senate Judiciary and Assembly Judiciary committees were in regular session from May 29 to June 4 and approved the nominations of nine nominees.
The other six judicial nominees were approved by a vote of nine to one.
While Kentucky’s judges are the state government’s top court judges, the legislative branch of the state legislature has also appointed judges.
The U.D.C. has not ruled on whether the Supreme Court of Kentucky would have jurisdiction to hear a case brought by Kentucky because of a lawsuit filed by the Kentucky State Bar Association.