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A liberal group is taking aim at a Kentucky judge who is on President Trump’s short list of potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees.

The group Demand Justice is behind a digital ad portraying federal appeals court judge Amul Thapar as a far right jurist who wrote a 2016 ruling that threw out a prohibition against judges making political contributions.

The Herald-Leader reports it’s one of five ads the activist group is releasing against judges who appeared on an official Supreme Court short list issued by the White House last fall.

The governing body of Western Kentucky University made a $388,000,000 decision on Friday. 

The Board of Regents approved a budget that will increase tuition and fees by four percent for the next academic year.  The increase will fund four percent raises for faculty and staff, their first substantial salary increase in a decade.

More than $3 billion worth of U.S. goods — from bourbon and corn to Harley-Davidson motorcycles — are now subject to a 25 percent tariff in the European Union, in retaliation for the Trump administration's tariffs that hit the EU, Mexico and Canada this month.

"The trade that we believe in is built on rules, trust and reliable partnership," Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the EU Commission, said in a speech in Dublin on Thursday night. "The United States' decision to impose tariffs on Europe goes against that. In fact, it goes against all logic and history."

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin says the judge who struck down Kentucky’s pension law is “not a very competent attorney,” predicting that the ruling will be overturned because the legislation “doesn’t do much.”

Franklin County Circuit Judge Philip Shepherd ruled on Wednesday that the law is unconstitutional because state lawmakers rushed the bill to passage and didn’t have enough votes to send it to the governor’s desk.

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Kentucky’s top health official says the state will cut benefits to Medicaid recipients if a federal court strikes down changes to the program set to roll out on July 1.

Gov. Matt Bevin got permission from the Trump administration to require “able-bodied” Medicaid recipients to pay monthly premiums and prove that they are working, volunteering, a full-time student or trying to find work in order to keep their health coverage.

Diocese of Owensboro

The separation of children from their families at America’s southern border that created a tide of outrage was reversed by President Donald Trump’s executive order on Wednesday. The Catholic bishop in Owensboro said that separation of families was disturbing.

Bishop William Medley of the Diocese of Owensboro said while Kentucky may be far away from the Mexican border,  taking children from parents who are refugees created a humanitarian crisis that reflected on all Americans.

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A judge has struck down changes made to Kentucky’s pension systems earlier this year, ruling that lawmakers violated the state constitution by rushing the bill to passage in a matter of hours.

The challenge is the latest in a series of legal disputes between Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear and Republican Gov. Matt Bevin.

On Wednesday Beshear called the ruling a “win for open, honest government.”

J. Tyler Franklin

For the first time since the Civil War, a majority of Kentucky voters don’t identify as Democrats as Republicans continue to make gains in voter registrations in the state.

As of June 15, Democrats make up 49.9 percent of registered voters in Kentucky while Republicans make up 41 percent and the rest identify either with a third party or as independents.

President Trump and administration officials are walking a fine line on family separation at the border.

They argue they don't like the policy, but that their hands are tied — and instead are pointing fingers at Congress to "fix" it.

There may be good reason for that — the policy (and it is a Trump administration policy, despite the Homeland Security secretary's claims to the contrary) is unpopular.

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Kentucky’s attorney general wants the state to stop investing taxpayer dollars and retirement contributions in companies that have profited from the opioid crisis. 

It’s Andy Beshear’s latest attempt to punish the makers and distributors of highly addictive painkillers.

Beshear sent letters this week to the Kentucky Retirement Systems and the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System, urging the agencies to stop investing funds in the six opioid manufacturers and distributors that his office is currently suing for helping fuel the state’s prescription drug abuse.

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A bipartisan group of Kentucky lawmakers is writing a bill to legalize and regulate sports betting in the state.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that states should be allowed to legalize sports betting, striking down a nearly 30-year ban.

Rep. Jason Nemes, a Republican from Louisville, said the bill would generate between $6.5 million and $26 million for the state every year through licensing and taxes.

Updated at 4:28 p.m. ET

The Trump administration's decision to separate children from their families as a way to curb illegal immigration is adding fuel to an already fiery debate over immigration.

A group of House Democrats converged on an immigration detention facility in New Jersey on Sunday, days before a planned vote by House Republicans next week. Meanwhile, Trump administration officials alternately took credit and sought to distance the administration from the family separation policy.

Ryland Barton

This week in Kentucky politics, Kentucky State Troopers shut protesters out of the state Capitol, allowing only two people to enter the building at a time. Attorney General Andy Beshear is suing Walgreens, saying the company helped fuel the opioid epidemic in the state. And a high-powered lobbyist was in federal court as prosecutors try to prove he bribed a former state official to help a client get state contracts.


Warren County Regional Jail

The neighbor who admitted to attacking U.S. Senator Rand Paul outside his home last fall was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green to 30 days in jail. 

Rene Boucher was also ordered to serve one year of supervised release, perform 100 hours of community service, and have no intentional contact with the Paul family. 

Boucher addressed the court and offered an apology to the Republican lawmaker who sustained broken ribs and other injuries after being tackled from behind while mowing his lawn on November 3.

"What I did was wrong and I hope he and his family can one day accept my apology," Boucher said.

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The Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled that part of Kentucky’s death law in unconstitutional.

The decision stems from a case involving a man convicted of murdering a Muhlenberg County teenager 20 years ago.

Robert Keith Woodall was sentenced to death after pleading guilty to viciously attacking 16-year-old Sarah Hansen, raping her, and then dumping her body in a freezing lake where she drowned.

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