It seems we have a disagreement…

Posted by on June 12, 2005

Senator Dan Kelly responded to my piece from January with a well founded argument in support of Senator Stephenson’s election to the Kentucky Senate. I was swayed by the argument not only by his rhetoric but, I admit, a willingness to allow Senator Kelly a certain benefit of the doubt. Now, DC Political Report has chimed in with his comments. So, again, I’ll respond here…

I’m afraid that you have been duped by the senator. He has used a common rhetorical trick, replacing one word with a similar word, to try to get around a complex legal issue.

That’s always a possibility Mr. Sachs! So let’s have a look at Section 32 of the Kentucky Constitution and dissect it.

Section 32 of the Kentucky Constitution

Qualifications of Senators and Representatives.

No person shall be a Representative who, at the time of his election, is not a citizen of Kentucky, has not attained the age of twenty-four years, and who has not resided in this State two years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof in the county, town or city for which he may be chosen. No person shall be a Senator who, at the time of his election, is not a citizen of Kentucky, has not attained the age of thirty years, and has not resided in this State six years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof in the district for which he may be chosen.

So, criteria to be a Senator are:

The only thing in dispute here is the third item and the word used is Reside. Hopping over to Websters we find the definition of “reside” as:


  1. To live in a place permanently or for an extended period.
  2. To be inherently present; exist: the potential energy that resides in flowing water.
  3. To be vested, as a power or right: the authority that resides in the Supreme Court.

Hmmm…at this point I have to wonder if Mr. Sachs may be correct. However, the same word, “reside” is used in Section 145 of the Kentucky Constitution:

Every citizen of the United States of the age of eighteen years who has resided in the state one year, and in the county six months, and the precinct in which he offers to vote sixty days next preceding the election, shall be a voter in said precinct and not elsewhere but the following persons are excepted and shall not have the right to vote.

If the two words have the same meaning, and it is disingenous to suggest otherwise, then why do we have absentee ballots for expatriots and military personnel? So let’s have a look at Senate Kelly’s position that Judge Wilett required legal domicile rather than residency. To do that we need the definition of domicile:


  1. A residence; a home.
  2. One’s legal residence.

So now we have a legal residence(domicile) and a being inherently present(to reside). There was never a doubt as to where Senator Stephenson spent her evenings. She was inherently present in Louisville Kentucky. She drove across the bridge to Indiana to go to school. In an effort to save some treasure she rented an apartment or paid for a post office box to establish a legal residence in Indiana.

Dunno Mr. Sachs…you are going to have to provide me with alittle more information on this complex legal issue because right now it seems pretty clear to me. I wasn’t duped by Senator Kelly. I was duped by a politically motivated Press here in Kentucky.

Now, it’s important for Mr. Sachs to understand, I honestly want to see all sides to this issue but I don’t want any legalistic garbage. If I have to have legalistic garbage to understand this then something needs to be changed or thrown out. If average citizens can’t understand the legal process, assuming they are sincerely interested in understanding it, then the legal process must be changed.

Last modified on June 12, 2005

Categories: Local Kentucky
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One Response to “It seems we have a disagreement…”

  1. Confessions of a Pilgrim » Lawyers and blogging… Says:

    […] cision has beaten out. Stay tuned to his blog for details…this may be too much of a complex legal issue for us little people to understand. No comments for Lawyers and blogging […]

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