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Beshear names commission to choose judge candidates, Williams 'will consider' if offered

Beshear names commission to choose judge candidates, Williams 'will consider' if offered

by Joe Arnold


Posted on October 4, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 4 at 4:55 PM

(WHAS11 Political Blog) -- Governor Steve Beshear has named the members of a Judicial nominating commission whose appointment of a new judge for Kentucky's 40th circuit may spark a major shake-up of state politics.

Beshear (D) has said he will consider any judicial candidates suggested by the commission, including his political nemesis, Senate President David Williams, a skilled litigator who lives in the district.

Earlier Thursday, a Williams spokeswoman said he "will consider" the judicial appointment if it is offered.

The commission's members are  Burkesville attorney Catherine B. Capps, Helena Pitcock of
Tompkinsville,  Steve U. Morgan of Albany, Gary R. Lee of Burkesville, Jarrett A. Stephens of Tompkinsville and a representative of the Kentucky Bar Association to be announced.

Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John D. Minton is chairman of the commission.

Beshear issued the Executive Order (pdf) on Thursday.

Sources who attended a Republican Party meeting last weekend tell WHAS11 that Williams spoke to the gathering about the possibility of an appointment to the 40th Judicial Circuit position vacated upon the death of Judge Eddie Lovelace on September 17..

Williams addressed the judgeship appointment possibility, saying -- if the offer is made -- it is something he would have to consider, the sources recalled.  And, they say that Williams told them he would not take his legislative pension while serving as judge.

 "If there is an appointment offer, Sen Williams will consider it," said Williams spokeswoman Lourdes Baez-Schrader.


Earlier this week, Gov. Steve Beshear said Williams was "certainly qualified" for the post and that he would consider any names forwarded him by a nominating commission that he also appoints.

Beshear said, as of Monday, he was not aware of any contact between his office and Williams regarding the judgeship.

A questionnaire also released Thursday set an October 12 deadline for any names to be submitted for consideration and completed questionnaires, along with nine copies, to be submitted by  October 18.