The Judicial Conduct Commission is the only entity authorized under the Kentucky Constitution to take disciplinary action against a sitting Kentucky Judge. The Commission also has authority over trial commissioners, domestic relations commissioners, master commissioners and attorneys who are candidates for judicial office.
While the great majority of Kentucky's judges are committed to maintaining the high standards expected of the judiciary, an effective method of imposing sanctions on judges who engage in misconduct or wrongdoing is essential to the efficient operation of our judicial system. Commission proceedings provide a fair and objective means to preserve the integrity of the judicial process.
Operating under rules established by the Supreme Court of Kentucky, the Commission investigates and reviews complaints and, when warranted, conducts hearings regarding alleged misconduct. Possible sanctions for misconduct range from confidential reprimands for minor technical violations to removal from office for major violations. Since its inception, the Commission's numerous actions have resulted in removal from the bench, involuntarily retirement and public discipline. Many more have resulted in private discipline.
The Commission is composed of six voting members who serve four-year terms. The members include one representative and one alternate from District Court, Circuit Court, the Kentucky Court of Appeals and the Kentucky Bar Association and two citizen representatives appointed by the Governor who are neither judges nor attorneys.