The First Amendment and Public Access: An Update on Recent Developments in Kentucky Law

The Kentucky Bar Association has granted permission to the Kentucky Press Association to distribute this article for educational purposes. This article appeared in the January 2019 edition of the Kentucky Bar Association’s Bench & Bar magazine. No permission is extended for re-publication of the article.

Jon Fleischaker

Michael Abate

Cassie Chambers Armstrong 

KPA general counsels and FOI Hotline attorneys Jon Fleischaker, Michael Abate and Cassie Chambers Armstrong co-authored an article that was published in the January issue of KBA’s magazine.


The past two years have seen a significant uptick in overt conflicts between public officials and the media, from outcries over “fake news,” to attempts to exclude the media — and thus the public — from official spaces and events. Our own state has not been immune from these larger societal conflicts. And, as one might expect, this has given rise to increased litigation over the public’s right to access various government fora, courts, and records.

Across a variety of areas, Kentucky’s courts generally have continued to favor robust public access to public spaces and records. This article describes some of the key First Amendment and public access cases that have been litigated in the

past two years. The authors of this article, who are attorneys at Kaplan Johnson Abate & Bird LLP in Louisville, has been fortunate enough to represent clients in many of the cases below. In each such instances, our affiliation with the case is noted for disclosure purposes.

Here in pdf form is the entire article as printed in the Kentucky Bar Association’s January issue of its KBA magazine.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *