FRANKFORT, Ky. (NEWS FIRST) – Attorney General Russell Coleman, Secretary of State Michael Adams, Auditor Allison Ball, Treasurer Mark Metcalf and Agriculture Commissioner Jonathan Shell jointly announced today the Kentucky Court of Appeals’ unanimous decision in Coleman v. Beshear. The ruling upholds the General Assembly’s legislation to empower Constitutional Officers to appoint a member of the Executive Branch Ethics Commission.

After the General Assembly passed HB 334 in 2022 and overrode the Governor’s veto, he sued to block the law and keep the sole authority to appoint a majority of members to the independent executive branch watchdog. The Court of Appeals unanimously rejected the Governor’s argument.

“Today’s ruling makes sure the Executive Branch Ethics Commission lives up to its name. The Governor’s attempt to pack the Commission was the type of ‘playing politics,’ that he claims to rise above,” said Attorney General Coleman. “The people of Kentucky elected divided government to find common ground, and the Constitutional Officers are ready.”

“When the Governor attempted to seize power from the Legislature, the courts shut him down. Then he tried seizing power from the other Constitutional Officers. The courts have shut him down again,” said Secretary of State Michael G. Adams. “I respect the Governor personally and professionally, but this is not an autocracy.”

“I am pleased that the Kentucky Court of Appeals once again confirmed that Kentucky’s Constitutional Officers share executive branch authority,” said Auditor Allison Ball. “HB 334 promotes good government policies that prioritize fairness, accountability and the well-being of Kentuckians, and I am glad to see it upheld. This ruling bolsters the collaborative work and value of every constitutional office and should be celebrated.”

“Governor Beshear had the opportunity to embrace a Commission reflective of our divided government. Instead, he contested this law to preserve his ability to pack the Commission,” said Treasurer Mark Metcalf. “This ruling serves as a reminder that power cannot be monopolized by any individual; rather, it underscores the necessity for collaboration to uphold good governance, which our fellow Kentuckians rightfully deserve.

Today’s decision from the Court of Appeals reaffirms that the General Assembly has the authority to adopt such good government measures as the public policy of the Commonwealth. This supports the power of Constitutional officers to do the work of the people,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Jonathan Shell.

Read the ruling.