Courts hope state finally will address some needed judicial changes

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky’s court districts have not undergone significant changes since 1896.

Judicial leaders hope that will change this year as state lawmakers start the process of drawing new lines for state Senate and House districts and other elected positions.

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Chief Supreme Court Justice John Minton gave lawmakers a history and legal lesson Tuesday on how the state got where it is today.

For the last five years, the judicial branch has presented proposals to the Legislature with only limited success.

“Perhaps the time has come for us to take another look at it. I hope you do. It’s important to note there have been changes, dramatic changes since 1896 in Kentucky circuit districts. We’ve had some changes along the line, some variations of changes, but in terms of a comprehensive statewide plan, it has not happened,” Minton told members of the Interim Committee on State Government.

The courts aren’t completely governed by the traditional one-man, one-vote rule. Instead, it’s done more by how well the courts can meet caseloads.

He said the courts have presented legislators with different restructuring plans for five years only to see major changes fail. Minton says he hopes that will change this year as court leaders draft anther proposal to improve the efficiency, service and representation of the courts at all levels.