Office of the Attorney General, 070218 KYAGO, AGO OAG 18-09

Docket Nº:AGO OAG 18-09
Case Date:July 02, 2018
Office of the Attorney General
AGO OAG 18-09
No. OAG 18-09
Kentucky Attorney General Opinion
Commonwealth of Kentucky Office of the Attorney General
July 2, 2018
         Subject: The process by which the rules and policies for public access to the State Capitol building may be implemented or altered.          Requested by: Representative Attica Scott, Kentucky House District 41 Representative George A. Brown, Jr., Kentucky House District 77 [1]          Written by: Laura C. Tipton          Syllabus: It is a violation of Kentucky law to restrict access to the State Capitol building based on a rale or policy that has not been promulgated through the administrative regulation process.          Statutes construed: KRS 13A.100(1) and (2), KRS 13A.010(2)(a), KRS 13A.270, KRS 13A.280, KRS 13A.220(4)(e) and (f), KRS 13A.290, KRS 13A.010(1), KRS 56.463(4)(a) and (8), KRS 16.065(1), KRS 16.080(1), KRS 13A.110, KRS 13A.190           OPINION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL          State Representatives Attica Scott and George A. Brown, Jr., joined by 27 of their colleagues in the Kentucky General Assembly, have requested an opinion of this office regarding the process by which rules and policies for public access to the State Capitol building may be implemented or altered. The opinion request relates to events involving the Kentucky Poor People's Campaign on June 4, 2018. For the reasons detailed in this opinion, we conclude that the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet and the Kentucky State Police violated KRS Chapter 13A by enforcing a policy against the Poor People's Campaign that they did not promulgate in an administrative regulation.          Before rendering this opinion, the office requested input, including all pertinent documents or records, from all relevant parties, as follows: the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet's Department of Kentucky State Police ("KSP"); the Finance and Administration Cabinet ("Finance Cabinet"); the Historic Properties Advisory Commission; and the Poor People's Campaign. We received responses from the KSP and the Poor People's Campaign. A response from the Finance Cabinet, on behalf of both itself and the Historic Properties Advisory Commission, advised that the Finance parties would provide no legal analysis regarding issues raised by the opinion request based on its perceived threat of litigation by the Poor People's Campaign. [2]          A review of the KSP and Poor People's Campaign responses reveals certain undisputed facts. Among these are the following: The Poor People's Campaign applied for and received approval from the Finance Cabinet to use the Capitol grounds for rallies on four dates in May and June 2018, May 21, May 29, June 4, and June 11. The Campaign, which described its purpose as "advocating with and for people who are most affected by systemic racism, systemic poverty, the war economy, and ecological devastation," anticipated that 125-300 people would attend each rally lasting from 1:30, p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Campaign did not seek a permit to rally inside the Capitol...

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