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Abstract

Events in 2015 surrounding Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis showed how removing county clerks from office is not a simple task in Kentucky. At present, removal can be accomplished only by the same dfficult means required to remove a state-wide executive offlcer, meaning the county clerk has the same tenure as the governor and attorney general. Historically, however, the county clerk was removable by other, lesser means, as were all other county officers. Today, the other county offcers are still removable by those lesser means, but the county clerk is not, resulting in a removal gap. That gap first appeared in 1976 and, based on a review of the available historical materials, was the result of mere oversight when the Kentucky Constitution was revised substantially to implement a new judicial branch. The gap should be filed, though it will likely require a constitutional amendment.

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