Kentucky residents are subject to Kentucky state and U.S. federal laws. Federal laws apply in Kentucky as they do across all 50 states. In addition to the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the U.S., federal laws include statutes that are periodically codified in the U.S. Code. Federal laws also include decisions by courts that interpret federal laws. Finally, federal laws include regulations issued by federal administrative agencies to implement federal laws. You can explore federal laws and related resources by visiting the federal law section of the Justia site.
The state of Kentucky also has its own state laws. Kentucky state laws include the Kentucky Constitution, laws passed by the Kentucky legislature and periodically codified in the Kentucky Revised Statutes, and decisions by courts that interpret Kentucky laws.
While the original Kentucky Constitution dates from 1792, the document was modified significantly by three later constitutional conventions. The Constitution can be amended in two ways under the Mode of Revision article. One route to amending the Constitution involves a legislatively referred amendment, which can originate in either chamber of the Kentucky General Assembly. The amendment will appear on a ballot if 60 percent of each chamber of the General Assembly votes in its favor. The other path to amending the Constitution involves a constitutional convention. A proposal for a constitutional convention will appear on a ballot if a majority of each chamber of the General Assembly votes in its favor in two successive sessions.
The Kentucky Revised Statutes contain the laws passed by the Kentucky legislature. These laws and the provisions of the Kentucky Constitution are often interpreted by the Kentucky Supreme Court and the Kentucky Court of Appeals. Two federal district courts in Kentucky also issue decisions that may affect Kentucky residents. These are the Eastern and Western District Courts of Kentucky. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals holds the authority to review decisions by federal district courts in Kentucky. Sometimes the U.S. Supreme Court may review a case that has been appealed from the Sixth Circuit or from the Kentucky Supreme Court.