Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Paper screws up Beshear Impeachment story

 For whatever reason, the Lexington Herald Leader's story about the unconstitutionality of KRS 63.070 isn't stuck behind a paywall so you can read it here. It is a special mess of bad journalism, of course.

First, the headline editorializes that impeachment petitioners are suing "to avoid paying." While impeachment costs are part of the lawsuit, the real news is that the Commonwealth of Kentucky is violating Free Speech rights of its citizens. That fact contains barely any controversy at all. In fact, we know this fact isn't controversial mostly because it isn't mentioned at all in the lede of the story, the Herald Leader didn't even mention the statute (KRS 63.070) specifically so readers could look at it and consider it and the Herald Leader didn't bother to ask Governor Andy Beshear to weigh in on the claim, which it would surely have done if it weren't sure to make him look bad.

Impeachment Committee Chairman Jason Nemes -- who is going to look really bad before this sorry episode is over -- said only that the law forced him to trample the rights of the impeachment petitioners. Should make a great bumpersticker for his next election campaign. 

A state law which penalizes citizens for fighting corruption mostly because corrupt actors decide to double down on their corruption and charge legal fees violates the United States Constitution any way you look at it. KRS 63.070 is such a law and the federal judiciary will not miss this fact just because Frankfort politicians want them to.