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2nd lawsuit filed over judicial races

GLASGOW, Ky. (AP) - Another lawsuit has been filed over legislation that seems to prevent some senior judges from running for judicial seats.

According to The Glasgow Daily Times (http://bit.ly/1gMVsIn), Steve Hurt's lawsuit says he has completed his obligation as a senior judge, but the law apparently makes him ineligible to run in the 40th Judicial Circuit.

The lawsuit cites the law, which states that senior judges shall not become a candidate or a nominee for any elected office during the five year term prescribed in state law, "regardless of the number of days served by the judge acting as a senior status special judge."

Because the law "places qualifications that are in addition to and inconsistent with the requirements of Section 116 of the Kentucky Constitution, (it) is therefore unconstitutional and invalid," the lawsuit says.

Hurt was named as a senior judge on Jan. 31, 2009. The deadline to file for the seat was Jan. 28, and Hurt filed paperwork to run.

The lawsuit also cites another section of Kentucky's constitution that says the legislature cannot pass local or special acts for certain subjects in all other cases where a general law can be made applicable.

Former senior judge Marc I. Rosen, who is seeking a judicial seat in Boyd County, has filed a similar suit.

Democratic state Rep. Kevin Sinnette of Ashland told The Independent that he proposed the law as a way to "clean up the language" in the statute governing senior judges and to prevent judges from double dipping, or drawing a paycheck and a retirement check at the same time.

"It was all done above board, and it was all about saving the state money," Sinnette said.

Hurt has asked for an expedited hearing in the matter.

If his candidacy is allowed, he would be running against David L. Williams for the circuit that includes Monroe, Cumberland and Clinton counties.

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Information from: Glasgow Daily Times, http://www.glasgowdailytimes.com

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