Judge refuses to step aside from teacher ‘sickout’ case

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s legal team has failed to persuade a judge to step aside from hearing a lawsuit stemming from protests that shut down some schools.

Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd on Wednesday denied a motion asking that he disqualify himself from the case. The lawsuit filed by Attorney General Andy Beshear challenges the state Labor Cabinet’s authority to investigate protesting teachers.

Beshear, a Democrat, is challenging Bevin in this year’s election.

Bevin’s legal team says Shepherd should step aside because he “liked” a Facebook post praising Beshear campaign volunteers.

Shepherd says he’s also “liked” posts promoting Republicans. He says it’s an “extreme” stretch to believe an isolated Facebook “like” of a campaign-related post should automatically disqualify a judge from hearing a case that could affect the campaign.

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