Now the spigot has been opened even further for corporations, trade groups and unions to use as much money as their hefty bank accounts can muster to aid or attack a federal candidate," said Sheila Krumholz, the Center for Responsive Politics' executive director. "Such action could potentially come in the eleventh hour of a campaign when the target may not be capable of an effective response, for want of time, funds or both."
Allison Gardner Martin Communications Director 502-696-5651 (office)
Attorney General Jack Conway today filed a motion with the United States Supreme Court asking it to stay the recent ruling by the Kentucky Supreme Court that lifts the residency restrictions for all registered sex offenders who committed their crimes before July 12, 2006 – meaning more than 5,500 sex offenders could live next to schools and daycares.
General Conway and his Office of Criminal Appeals are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the state ruling until it decides whether or not to review Kentucky’s case. The Office of the Attorney General has until December 30, 2009 to file a certiorari motion with the U.S. Supreme Court.
Attorney General Conway will file the certiorari motion because Kentucky’s law is similar to laws in several other states that have had conflicting rulings by state courts. He also has the statutory obligation to defend laws passed by the Kentucky General Assembly.
“I understand there are constitutional questions regarding retroactivity, but there are also public safety implications for families in keeping sex offenders away from where children congregate. Only the U.S. Supreme Court can weigh these issues and provide guidance to states,” said Attorney General Conway.
Attorney General Conway’s Office of Criminal Appeals filed a motion on October 21, 2009 with the Kentucky Supreme Court requesting that it suspend implementation of the ruling until the U.S. Supreme Court determines whether or not it will review the Kentucky case. The Kentucky Supreme Court denied the motion.
A link to the Office of the Attorney General’s motion for a U.S. Supreme Court stay is below.
Attorney General Conway has announced that his office will appeal the recent ruling of the Ky. Supreme Court which held that the legislature is prohibited by the Kentucky and U.S. Constitution from passing an ex post facto law which adds to the sentence of a person who was convicted before the passage of the law. Few issues are as well settled in the law as the unconstitutionality of ex post facto laws.
Any reading of this court decision shows a great deal of restraint by the court. The court’s ruling held that any new sex offenders can still be banned. Only those offenders who had already been convicted before the new law was passed were affected by this decision. The court did not rule on a larger question of whether “banishment” is itself constitutional. The court discussed the logic of the law and pointed out that it does not prevent convicted sex offenders from visiting homes within a thousand yards of a school or playground, it just says they can’t sleep there.
We would hope that our Attorney General would focus on asking the legislature for a better piece of legislation that actually limited contact of child sex offenders with children and to provide supervision of offenders. The current law merely draws a line on a map which forces (even offenders who were not convicted of offenses involving children) to be forced from their homes.
While the Attorney General’s petition for certiorari is great political theater it ignores the larger problem and avoids the heavy lifting of writing an effective law.
FROM KENTON DISTRICT COURT – . HONORABLE MARTIN J. SHEEHAN, JUDGE
The Ky. Supreme Court said:
“The question of law to be answered is whether KRS 17 .545, which restricts where registered sex offenders may live, may be applied to those who committed their offenses prior to July 12, 2006, the effective date of the statute. We hold that it may not. Even though the General Assembly did not intend the statute to be punitive, the residency restrictions are so punitive in effect as to negate any intention to deem them civil. Therefore, the retroactive application ofKRS 17.545 is an ex post facto punishment, which violates Article I, Section 10 of the United States Constitution, and Section 19(1) of the Kentucky Constitution…
The United States Constitution and the Kentucky their respective ex post facto clauses, prohibit. the enactment of any law that imposes or increases the punishment for criminal acts committed prior to the law’s enactment…
KRS 17 .54-5 does not oven restrict an offender from living with the victim, so long as they live, and sleep outside of the prohibited area …
All KRS 17.545 prohibits is residing in a home within the prohibited zone. It does not regulate contact with children.”
The American Civil Liberties Union yesterday appealed the dismissal of its lawsuit challenging a government spying law as unconstitutional.
The ACLU and the New York Civil Liberties Union filed the landmark lawsuit in July 2008 to stop the government from conducting surveillance under the FISA Amendments Act (FAA), which the ACLU says gives the executive branch virtually unchecked power to sweep up Americans' international e-mails and telephone calls.
U.S. District Court Judge John Koeltl of the Southern District of New York dismissed the case in August on "standing" grounds, ruling that the plaintiffs did not have the right to challenge the new surveillance law because they could not prove with certainty that their own communications had been monitored under it.
A Kentucky death row inmate on Wednesday lost a challenge to the state's lethal injection protocol when a federal judge found he attacked the law too late.
U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell ruled that death row inmate Gregory Wilson should have brought his lawsuit at least five years ago and possibly as much as 11 years ago, when the state adopted lethal injection as a method of execution.
Wilson's lawsuit, filed in December 2007, challenged the use of sedatives given to an inmate before an execution, saying they interfered with the deadly three-drug cocktail.
Wilson, 52, was sentenced to death in 1988 for his part in the kidnapping and murder of Deborah Pooley a year earlier in Kenton County in northern Kentucky. A co-defendant in the case, Brenda Humphrey, is serving a life sentence.
The Supreme Court set up a historic decision on gun control Wednesday, saying it will rule on whether restrictive state and local laws violate the Second Amendment right to gun ownership that it recognized last year.
The landmark 2008 decision to strike down the District of Columbia's ban on handgun possession was the first time the court had said the amendment grants an individual right to own a gun for self-defense. But the 5 to 4 opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller did not address the question of whether the Second Amendment extends beyond the federal government and federal enclaves such as Washington.
Most court observers say they think that the five justices who recognized the individual right will also find that the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments, a move that could spark challenges of state and local laws governing gun registration, how and when the weapons can be carried, and storage requirements.