Supreme Court of Kentucky denies Gov. Bevin's request to disqualify 'hack' judge

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - The Supreme Court of Kentucky has denied Governor Matt Bevin's request to disqualify Franklin Circuit Court judge Phillip Shepherd in the ongoing pension law battle.

Gov. Matt Bevin explaining his decision to veto the state budget and tax plans.

The court said Bevin's office failed to demonstrate a disqualifying circumstance. The governor argued because Shepherd was eligible for judicial pension he should not preside over the case.

Bevin was asking for a judge who took office in 2014 or later, because they do not have the same pension and aren't affected by the lawsuit's outcome.

The governor has expressed dismay with Shepherd, calling him "an incompetent hack" after Shepherd denied Bevin's request to take depositions of representatives of the plaintiffs.

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear filed a lawsuit against shortly after Bevin signed pension reform into law, stating it violates the state constitution and was passed illegally.

Supporters say the law takes a step toward fixing what some consider the worst-funded state pension system in the country. It will move new teacher hires into a hybrid plan that puts less risk on the state but doesn't guarantee them the same benefits.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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