At least once a decade, a member of the General Assembly, who doesnt like a ruling by Franklin Circuit Court involving a legislative legal issue, files a bill to strip the Franklin Circuit as the court of origin for cases involving state government.
And the bill never passes.
This year the wounded legislator is Senate President David Williams, whose assertion last year that the Senate has the power to seat anyone even if they dont meet the constitutions age requirement was soundly dismissed by Franklin Circuit Court and the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.
So now Williams wants just about all state government legal cases spread out to circuit courts around the commonwealth. His reasoning is that it is unduly burdensome to expect citizens to travel to the capital city when they are involved in a legal battle with state government.
In truth, the only citizens who end up driving to Frankfort for a court date are those who dont bother to pay taxes or their companies dont pay unemployment insurance, workers compensation or fines for despoiling the environment or engaging in illegal mining practices.
And more often than not, their attorneys carry out that long and arduous trek to the Franklin Circuit courtroom from their downtown Frankfort offices or from Louisville or Lexington.
No, this is retribution and an effort to move heavy constitutional issues out of a court with long experience in those issues into circuit courts where such issues rarely arise.
Wonder how the circuit court serving Williams Burkesville hometown would have ruled on his assertion of senatorial infallibility?
Fortunately, we wont find out.
A further wonder is how Williams will treat a request from the Administrative Office of the Courts to fund a long-needed $31 million judicial center for both Franklin District and Circuit courts in the new judicial budget?
The 101,000-square-foot judicial center would contain courtrooms and offices for each judge, space for the court clerks and the degree of security not found in the current courthouse or annex.
We hope the Senate president will rise above his snit over losing the infallibility argument and give the capital city a judicial center it so badly needs.
As far as spreading state legal cases across the state, the best argument against the idea involves only five names: Henry Meigs, Squire Williams, Ray Corns, William Graham and Roger Crittenden.