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By KELLY RICHARDSON
ELIZABETHTOWN — The Kentucky Supreme Court chief justice gave a a civics lesson Wednesday to a crowd at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College.
John D. Minton Jr. spoke in the Science Auditorium in honor of Constitution Day. Wednesday was the 221st anniversary of the signing of the document and universities and colleges are federally mandated to celebrate it.
Minton said Constitution Day gives people an excuse to brush up on their knowledge of government, something he said is essential to a democracy.
“It is so important to the maintenance of a free country,” he said.
Minton took the opportunity to discuss four U.S. Supreme Court cases — Baze v. Rees, District of Columbia v. Heller, Crawford v. Marion County Election Board and Boumediene v. Bush, which dealt with the death penalty, gun control laws, voter rights and the rights of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, respectively.
He told the audience he chose those cases because they were good examples of the relationship between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.
“The relationship between these three branches is constantly in tension,” he said.
Retired Kentucky Supreme Court Justice William S. Cooper, an Elizabethtown resident, spoke on the separation of powers among the three branches of the government last year.
Minton was sworn in as chief justice June 27 after two years on the Supreme Court. He is serving an eight-year term. He represents the 2nd Supreme Court District, made up of 14 counties, including Hardin.
Kelly Richardson can be
reached at (270) 505-1747.