FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The Kentucky Supreme Court has declined to rule on whether it was legal for Republican Gov. Matt Bevin to abolish and replace the University of Louisville's board of trustees.
Bevin issued his order last year to give the university a fresh start following several scandals. Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear sued him, and a state judge ruled Bevin's order was illegal.
Earlier this year, the state legislature passed a law making Bevin's changes permanent. They also enacted a new process for dissolving university boards. Thursday, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled the new law made the issue moot and dismissed the case.
Beshear called the ruling a "total win" because the court did not overturn the lower court's ruling. A spokeswoman for Bevin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Beshear's full statement reads:
"I view today’s decision as a total win that protects Kentucky’s public universities, our students’ financial aid and the thousands of research jobs our public institutions support. Under the Supreme Court’s ruling, Gov. Bevin can no longer use the reorganization statute to dissolve a university board, an action that had dire consequences for the University of Louisville. This ruling will protect the accreditation of all Kentucky universities going forward. As to Gov. Bevin’s previous action against the University of Louisville, the Supreme Court did not refute the circuit court’s ruling that the Governor violated the law. Instead, they found that the General Assembly bailed him out.”
Below is a statement from Gov. Bevin's Communications Director Amanda Stamper:
“The Bevin Administration commends the Kentucky Supreme Court’s unanimous decision granting the Governor's motion to vacate the injunction and dismiss Attorney General Andy Beshear's complaint with prejudice. The Court's decision, coupled with the Legislature's action last session, underscores the correctness of the Governor's reorganization. Today puts an end to Attorney General Andy Beshear tossing the future of the University of Louisville around like a political football.”