LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The Franklin Circuit Court judge the Bevin administration filed a motion against over a post the judge “liked” on Facebook issued an order Wednesday saying he will not remove himself from an upcoming case.
Judge Phillip Shepherd is set to preside over a case involving a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office challenging the use of Kentucky labor law to obtain the names of teachers who participated in “sickouts.”
The Bevin administration filed a motion in Franklin Circuit Court to have Shepherd removed after he liked a post supporting Beshear’s gubernatorial campaign.
In an order Wednesday Shepherd said his intent in “liking” a post made by a volunteer for the Beshear/Coleman campaign was to “encourage people to actively participate in our democracy. The ‘like’ is intended to support the messengers, not endorse the messages.”
Shepherd noted that during the same time he liked the aforementioned post, he also “’liked’ posts that celebrated Republicans promoting their cause (which includes the re-election of Governor Bevin) at the State Fair, the visit of President Trump to Louisville and a reception at the Frankfort Country Club honoring the Bevin-Alvarado ticket.”
Shepherd also noted that this motion reminded him that social media posts “lend themselves to misunderstanding and distortion,” and for that reason he would “strive to refrain from responding to any political posts, Republican or Democratic, on social media in the future.”
Upon filing the motion in August, Bevin’s chief of staff said in a statement, “Judge Shepherd’s endorsement of the Beshear-Coleman ticket is an obvious breach of judicial conduct and should automatically disqualify him from presiding in any cases that involve our administration and the attorney general.”
At the time of the filing Beshear called the motion “another absurd attack by an out-of-control governor,” and added Wednesday, after Shepherd’s order, that “This is yet another example of Matt Bevin trying to bully and attack those he disagrees with.”
Bevin and Beshear are both running for governor in this year’s election.