On March 13, 2019, the Kentucky Judicial Nominating Commission sent three names to Gov. Matt Bevin (R) as possible choices to fill a vacancy on the Kentucky Supreme Court. The justice Bevin selects will be his first appointment to the seven-member court.
The three possible nominees are:
- David Buckingham: Judge on the Kentucky Court of Appeals from 1997 to 2005 and judge on a circuit court from 1987 to 1996.
- Tyler L. Gill: Judge on a circuit court since 1995 and on a district court from 1993 to 1995.
- Carla Williams: Judge on a circuit court since 2004.
The vacancy was created by the retirement of Justice Bill Cunningham. Under state law, if there is a midterm vacancy on the state supreme court, the governor appoints a successor from a list of three names provided by the Kentucky Judicial Nominating Commission. The commission is made up of the chief justice of the court, two attorneys elected by the Kentucky Bar Association, and four citizens appointed by the governor equally split by political party.
A special election will take place in November 2019 for the remainder of Cunningham’s term, which expires in January 2023. Bevin’s replacement will serve until the winner of that election is sworn in, and may choose to run in the November special election.