Kentucky Supreme Court rules Marsy's Law amendment too vague

Published: Jun. 13, 2019 at 10:40 AM EDT
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The Kentucky Supreme Court has affirmed a lower court's decision on a proposed amendment approved by voters in November 2018, saying the question on the ballot was too vague.

The court said the question on the ballot for Marsy's Law, which guarantees rights of crime victims, including the right to be notified of and present for more court proceedings, is now void as a result of the ruling.

Kentucky voters approved the amendment with 63 percent of the vote even though the proposal was in doubt of going into effect.

The Supreme Court found the proposed amendment in violation of the Kentucky Constitution because "it failed to satisfy the requirement that it be published and submitted to the electorate." It was also ruled unconstitutional because there is a requirement for the Secretary of State to publish the full text of the proposed amendment at least 90 days before the vote. The court says the form of the amendment published and submitted was not the full text.

Republican state Sen. Whitney Westerfield, a supporter of the amendment, said he was "very disappointed" in the Supreme Court's ruling, saying their judgment is "upending the will of the voters."

The Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers filed the legal action against the proposed amendment, saying it was presented to voters in a confusing manner.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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