By Phillip Lentsch–
Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd temporarily blocked Governor Matt Bevin’s recently appointed board of trustees.
Bevin abolished the previous 17-member U of L board by an executive order in June, stating he had the “absolute authority” to do so.
Shepherd’s ruling stated Bevin had not “provided a factual or legal basis” proving his actions did not violate the state constitution. The injunction placed on the board will last until Attorney General Andy Beshear’s lawsuit is resolved.
“Today’s court ruling is a win for Kentucky students, their families and our public universities. The governor does not have ‘absolute authority’ to ignore the Constitution and Kentucky law. I will continue my job or enforcing our Constitution’s separation of powers so that no one branch of government, regardless of who leads it, has absolute power,” Beshear said.
On Wednesday the new board accepted the resignation of U of L President James Ramsey, agreeing to pay him $690,000. As of now, members of the board and U of L administration are unsure how today’s ruling will impact that decision.
“It’s not in our hands,” Junior Bridgeman, chairman of the new board, said. “It’s in the governor’s or judges, or whoever. We’ll know when we know.”