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Posts tagged as “Kansas judges”

As lawmakers, Kansas judges should be selected democratically

While many believe that judges should not "legislate from the bench," the reality is that lawmaking is a judicial function. In a democracy, lawmakers should be elected under the principle of "one person, one vote." But Kansas, which uses the Missouri Plan for judicial selection to its two highest courts, violates this principle.

Kansas judicial selection: The need for reform

On an episode of the KAKE Television public affairs program "This Week in Kansas" Stephen Ware explains the problems with the method Kansas uses to select judges to its highest courts.

Reaction to Kansas school lawsuit decision

Following are several reactions to the decision in Gannon vs. Kansas, the school funding lawsuit. The court ruled the state must spend more on schools.

Kansas lawmakers, including judges, should be selected democratically

While many believe that judges should not "legislate from the bench," the reality is that lawmaking is a judicial function. In a democracy, lawmakers should be elected under the principle of "one person, one vote." But Kansas, which uses the Missouri Plan for judicial selection to its two highest courts, violates this principle.

Kansas Justice Selection

Some commentary from Americans For Prosperity — Kansas about a bill that would change the way Kansas chooses its justices: Lawyers are soooo smart. More…

Here’s Why Kansans Need to Take Control

As an introduction to my post What Impact do Kansas Voters Have on Judges?, Todd Epp of Kansas Watch writes “Um, this lawyer suggests, hopefully…

Socialism And Big Government Expand In Kansas

State owned and operated casinos are constitutional and permissible in Kansas. The extremely activist and left-wing Kansas Supreme Court unanimously ruled June 27 that state owned and operated casinos were legal in Kansas. For many statehouse observers this wasn’t a surprise.

Kansas must change its judicial selection method

The Kansas Supreme Court is a private club filled with people you've never heard of until they pass some tax you have to pay or invent some law you don't want. There is a way to fix this, but you won't like it, says Denis Boyles.

Judicial Scandal Grows

The Kansas legislature's school spending spree is racing the latest developments in the judicial-legislative misconduct scandal over school finance in Kansas. The outcome of this race could influence the size of the spending spree going on at the Kansas statehouse right now. The latest revelations on the school finance scandal brings the governor into the story. Senate President Steve Morris has now informed at least some in the statehouse press that he told the governor about his meeting with Supreme Court Justice Nuss and Senator Pete Brungardt.

Kansas Judiciary Gets National Criticism

Kansas Judiciary Gets National Criticism
Karl Peterjohn, Kansas Taxpayers Network

The school finance litigation began in the 1980’s in Kansas and has continued and expanded in the 21st Century. The first lawsuit was tragic, but now Kansas is becoming a judicial joke, albeit a very expensive demonstration of judicial activism and contempt for the democratic principles that are the foundation for not only this state, but for this republic.

Kansas is now getting negative national attention created by the judicial activism coming from the Kansas Supreme Court. Kansas is not alone in judicial activism but the attention focused upon the Sunflower state by the Wall Street Journal April 8, 2006 is a national recognition of a fundamental problem facing Kansas. The negative judicial impact is already hurting Kansas firms as business costs and risks grow. Any out-of-state firm looking to relocate into this region won’t come anywhere near us.

Here, the judges are setting budgets and legislatures have been relegated to an elected advisory board. Litigious school district lawyers publicly whine about “inadequate school funding,” despite an increase of over $650 per pupil last year alone. Governor Sebelius and her liberal legislative allies in both parties want this spending to be doubled again to a total of roughly $2,000 more per pupil per year. That would be an additional $40,000 per twenty student classroom in Kansas if the legislature approves this spending when they return to Topeka April 26.

When this gubernatorial backed spending spree was approved in the Kansas house all 42 Democrats joined 22 liberal Republicans led by Garden City lawyer, Representative Ward Loyd in narrowly passing this bill on a 64-to-61 vote in March. In a spasm of caution, the senate deadlocked and passed nothing so far this year.

Judicial Reform in Kansas on Hold

Thank you to Alan Cobb of Americans For Prosperity, Kansas for this report on this needed measure for judicial reform in Kansas.

The current system of Kansas Supreme Court selection, the mis-named "merit system," is a secretive, closed system dominated by lawyers. Kansas lawyers elect themselves to the Kansas Supreme Court selection board. There are no campaign finance filings, no reports, no public meetings. It is time to bring this system out into the light of day.

However two attempts to reform this system failed in the Kansas Senate this week. A proposed constitutional amendment that would require Senate confirmation of Kansas Supreme Court Justices failed yesterday, March 9th. What is worse is that this legislation had 28 co-sponsors and only needed 27 votes to pass. Six senators switched their support for the bill they co-sponsored ensuring the failure of the measure. The six Senators who switched their support were:

Sen. Steve Morris, R-Hugoton
Sen. Roger Reitz, R-Manhattan
Sen. David Wysong, R-Mission Hills
Sen. Jim Barone, D-Frontenac
Sen. Vicki Schmidt, R-Topeka

Sen. Ruth Teichmann, R-Stafford, abstained from voting. (ed: See Karl Peterjohn's article Report From the Kansas Statehouse, March 9, 2006 to understand what "passing" means in this context.)

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