Kentucky judge removed from teacher ‘sickout’ case

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s chief justice has removed a judge from hearing a lawsuit challenging the authority of Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration to investigate teacher protests.

Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. on Friday disqualified circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd from presiding over the case brought by Bevin’s rival, Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear. Beshear is challenging Bevin in this year’s race for governor.

Bevin’s legal team sought Judge Shepherd’s removal from the case because the judge “liked” a Facebook post showing a photo of a Democratic lawmaker with a Beshear campaign volunteer.

Bevin’s lawyers said that raised questions about the judge’s impartiality.

Minton said he’s sure Shepherd would have presided in an unbiased manner, but says the standard for disqualification was met. Minton says the matter is a “cautionary tale” for judges who use social media.

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