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Frankfort's, Williams' future hinge on meeting today

Frankfort's, Williams' future hinge on meeting today

by Joe Arnold

WHAS11.com

Posted on October 25, 2012 at 8:11 AM

(WHAS11 Political Blog) -- At a meeting Thursday morning in Burkesville, a Judicial Nominating Commission could set in motion a seismic shift in state politics.

If the commission names Senate President David Williams of Burkesville as one of its three choices to fill a vacant circuit judgeship, Governor Steve Beshear could effectively remove Williams, his political nemesis, from the statehouse.

Williams has said he would consider the appointment.

Last month, Beshear said Williams was "certainly qualified" for the post and that he would consider any names forwarded him by the nominating commission.

Per a Supreme Court Rule, the names of applicants are not made public.  The names of the three nominees chosen by the Judicial Nominating Commission and submitted to the governor for appointment are made public.

Senate Republicans have discussed a succession plan for Williams when they vote for leadership positions in January.  Senator Robert Stivers (R-Manchester), the Majority Floor Leader, is said to be a likely successor, yet other senators have indicated interest in the senate presidency in the past.

Sources who attended a Republican Party meeting told 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.

The commission is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. CDT, at the Cumberland County Justice Center, 112 Public Square, Burkesville.

The commission's members are  Burkesville attorney Catherine B. Capps, Tompkinsville attorney Nicholas Carter, Helena Pitcock of Tompkinsville,  Steve U. Morgan of Albany, Gary R. Lee of Burkesville and Jarrett A. Stephens of Tompkinsville.

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

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