Thompson-Alcott Supreme Court race: A look at candidates and ‘partisan’ criticisms of the court

The Kentucky Supreme Court race is currently being criticized as “partisan” despite all judges running on a nonpartisan basis.

This race will decide the fate of many hot button issues in the state of Kentucky. On the ballot this November is an anti-abortion amendment to the Kentucky state constitution, according to Kentucky Health News. This is leading to many people focusing on judicial elections – even if they were not previously.  

Political fundraising for judicial races is being used in a new way. There have been PACs active in the state of Kentucky to back more “conservative” judges and their campaigns, according to the Courier Journal.  

One PAC spending money in the Kentucky Supreme Court race is Fair Courts America. Their documentation of their 12-page plan to get certain judges elected has been removed from their website since the publication of the Courier-Journal article examining this PAC.  

The group plans to spend over a million dollars in Kentucky on the election. This PAC has targeted both the 6th and 2nd district Supreme Court races. Bowling Green is part of Kentucky’s second district.  

Joe Fischer, who is running on a nonpartisan ballot in the Sixth District and has served as a representative in the Kentucky House of Representatives, has been criticized for his partisan speech and self-describing as a Republican, even if he is not running as one on the ballot. He is being financially backed by Fair Courts America as reported by the Courier Journal.

Fair Courts America is “committed to standing against this tide, uniting voters across the political spectrum, and restoring America’s courts to their original purpose”, according to their website. They say that “progressive activists” are seeking to take control of the courts away from the American people.

This group’s activity in the Kentucky Supreme Court race shows that the nonpartisan nature of the court system can be called into question. Potential Supreme Court justices are using parties to describe their policies and goals.

Shawn Marie Alcott is on the ballot for Kentucky Supreme Court. She is the sister-in-law of Bowling Green mayor Todd Alcott and is being backed by Fair Courts America. Alcott served as an Assistant Warren County Attorney and advised the Warren Fiscal Court. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and got her law degree from the University of Kentucky. 

Her competitor is Kelly Thompson, a WKU alumnus. He was elected to serve as a judge on the Kentucky Court of Appeals in 2006. He has been certified as a civil trial specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He also received his law degree from the University of Kentucky.

Alcott’s current practice focuses on healthcare law. She is active in both the Warren County school system and has advised several city and county governments. According to her election website she “is familiar with the regional challenges that stem from healthcare, unchecked crime, business, education, and the issues that impact our elected officials.”

Both candidates are active in the Bowling Green community.

News reporter B Turner can be reached at [email protected].