Gov. Andy Beshear (D) appointed public defender Chris McNeill to the Kentucky Court of Appeals on April 22 to serve the remainder of former appellate judge Christopher Nickell’s term. Nickells resigned after he was appointed to the Kentucky Supreme Court in December 2019.
At the time of his appointment, McNeill had already declared his candidacy in the special election to fill Nickells’ former position, the Division 1 chair on the bench in the court’s 1st Appellate District. The primary in the special election is scheduled for June 23 and the special general election will take place on November 3. Pending the results of the election, McNeill will serve at least until Nickells’ term ends on January 3, 2021.
The Kentucky Court of Appeals is the intermediate appellate court in Kentucky. Prior to a 1975 amendment to the Kentucky Constitution that created the Kentucky Supreme Court, the Kentucky Court of Appeals was the only appellate court in the state. Appellate courts are defined as courts having the power to review the decisions of lower courts or tribunals. In Kentucky, the court of last resort is the Kentucky Supreme Court.