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October 31, 2023

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Kentucky Supreme Court today struck down Senate Bill 126, a change of venue law allowing any party to a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a state law to unilaterally transfer the case from the original court to a randomly chosen court elsewhere in the state. The Court ruled the law violates the Kentucky Constitution. 

In May of 2023, on behalf of the Kentucky Resources Council, Kentucky Equal Justice Center, and the ACLU of Kentucky, attorneys from the ACLU of Kentucky and the national ACLU’s State Supreme Court Initiative filed an amicus brief asking the Court to strike down the law. Senate Bill 126 would allow government officials to substantially increase the litigation costs of people who allege violations of their constitutional rights, including Kentuckians with limited financial means. 

"This ruling is a victory for all Kentuckians. Government officials should not have the opportunity to get a new judge in a different county without any justification by simply requesting a change of venue in any challenge to the constitutionality of law in the commonwealth,” said Corey Shapiro, Legal Director for the ACLU of Kentucky. “There is already a crisis of access to justice in Kentucky, and SB 126 would have made it worse.” 

ACLU-KY and our partner organizations are pleased the Court ruled in our favor.  

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