Kansas judges

WichitaLiberty.TV: Joseph Ashby on Kansas judges, schools, and the president

WichitaLiberty.TV: Joseph Ashby on Kansas judges, schools, and the president

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Radio Show Host Joseph Ashby joins host Bob Weeks to talk about Kansas judges, Kansas schools, and presidential politics. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 128, broadcast September 11, 2016. Shownotes The Joseph Ashby Show The Joseph Ashby Show on iTunes From Pachyderm: Radio Host Joseph Ashby Joseph Ashby author archive at American Thinker
Read More
Kansas Supreme Court: Making law, part 3

Kansas Supreme Court: Making law, part 3

Do the justices on the Kansas Supreme Court make new law? Yes, and here is another example. A paper by Kansas University School of Law Professor Stephen J. Ware explains the problem with the undemocratic method of judicial selection process used in Kansas.[1. Ware, Stephen J. Originalism, Balanced Legal Realism and Judicial Selection: A Case Study. Available at papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2129265.] The question is whether judges are simply arbitrators of the law, or do they actually participate in the lawmaking process? In his paper, Ware presents eleven examples of judges on the two highest Kansas courts engaging in lawmaking. Here, Ware explains…
Read More
Kansas Supreme Court: Making law, part 2

Kansas Supreme Court: Making law, part 2

Do the justices on the Kansas Supreme Court make new law? Yes, and here is an example. A paper by Kansas University School of Law Professor Stephen J. Ware explains the problem with the undemocratic method of judicial selection process used in Kansas.[1. Ware, Stephen J. Originalism, Balanced Legal Realism and Judicial Selection: A Case Study. Available at papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2129265.] The question is whether judges are simply arbitrators of the law, or do they actually participate in the lawmaking process? In his paper, Ware presents eleven examples of judges on the two highest Kansas courts engaging in lawmaking. Here, Ware explains…
Read More
Kansas Supreme Court: Selecting Judges

Kansas Supreme Court: Selecting Judges

While many believe that judges should not "legislate from the bench," that is, make law themselves, the reality is that lawmaking is a judicial function. A paper by Kansas University School of Law Professor Stephen J. Ware explains the problem with the undemocratic method of judicial selection process used in Kansas.[1. Ware, Stephen J. Originalism, Balanced Legal Realism and Judicial Selection: A Case Study. Available at papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2129265.] At issue is whether judges are simply arbitrators of the law, or do they actually participate in the lawmaking process. Ware presents eleven examples of judges on the two highest Kansas courts engaging…
Read More
As lawmakers, Kansas judges should be selected democratically

As lawmakers, Kansas judges should be selected democratically

While many believe that judges should not "legislate from the bench," that is, make law themselves, 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 highest court, violates this principle. A 2012 paper by Kansas University School of Law Professor Stephen J. Ware explains the problem with the judicial selection process in Kansas. The paper is titled Originalism, Balanced Legal Realism and Judicial Selection: A Case Study and may be downloaded at no…
Read More

In Kansas, politics may now cure its own harm

I don’t care who does the electing so long as I do the nominating. -- William “Boss” Tweed, political boss of Tammany Hall Critics of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback point to his nomination of a confidant to the Kansas Court of Appeals as evidence of politics trumping the -- purportedly -- merit-based selection process formerly in place. The previous process, however, was nothing if not political. Its defenders -- the state's legal profession -- denied that, but they were in charge of the process. In fact, the reason that Caleb Stegall, the current nominee, is not already on the bench…
Read More

As lawmakers, Kansas judges should be selected democratically

While many believe that judges should not "legislate from the bench," that is, make law themselves, 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. A recent paper by Kansas University School of Law Professor Stephen J. Ware explains the problem with the process used in Kansas. The paper is titled Originalism, Balanced Legal Realism and Judicial Selection: A Case Study and may be downloaded at no…
Read More

Kansas judicial selection: The need for reform

Kansas University School of Law Professor Stephen J. Ware appeared on the KAKE Television public affairs program This Week in Kansas to discuss the method of judicial selection in Kansas. Phil Journey and Chapman Rackaway appear as panelists. Tim Brown is the host. In today's debate the issue of judicial selection reform is usually characterized as strictly political. Now that Kansas has a conservative governor and a conservative legislature, it is said that conservatives want to remake the courts to suit their ideology. That may be the motivation for many. But Professor Ware has advocated for reform for a long…
Read More

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. An important observation on the true size of the court-ordered tax increase was offered by Kansas Policy Institute: "Today's mandate of a $654 Base State Aid Per-Pupil (BSAPP) increase forces the state to raise annual spending and taxes by $440 million and, because of the way the Local Option Budget is written, local property taxes will automatically increase by $154 million. In total, the Shawnee District Court would take an additional $594 million out of…
Read More

Kansas lawmakers, including judges, should be selected democratically

While many believe that judges should not "legislate from the bench," that is, make law themselves, 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. A recent paper by Kansas University School of Law Professor Stephen J. Ware explains the problem with the process used in Kansas. The paper is titled Originalism, Balanced Legal Realism and Judicial Selection: A Case Study and may be downloaded at no…
Read More

Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Thursday October 21, 2010

Honest journalist too much for NPR. Juan Williams has been fired by National Public Radio. His offense: He spoke in a not-politically-correct way about Muslims. On Monday's O'Reilly Factor Williams said: "But when I get on a plane -- I got to tell you -- if I see people who are in Muslim garb, and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous." According to Williams, NPR said this is a bigoted remark that "crossed the line." Across all forms of media, this is sure to be a big…
Read More

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 coverage of this issue: Kansas Must Change Its Judicial Selection Method Kansas has the appearance, without the reality, of judicial accountability What Impact do Kansas Voters Have on Judges? Here’s Why Kansans Need to Take Control
Read 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 none?!" My post mentions Kansas University Law Professor Stephen Ware's call for an end to the lawyer-dominated process of selection Kansas judges. Mr. Epp's reaction -- and he is a lawyer -- should strengthen the resolve of Kansans to take control of this process away from lawyers and their narrow self-interest.
Read More

What impact do Kansas voters have on judges?

Recently a Kansas blog covered a political event and wrote this in a post titled Defending America Summit Brought out the Wingnuts: Stephen Ware, Professor at the University of Kansas Law School: "What’s unusual about Kansas is about how little the people’s wishes matter. There are no checks and balances in the judicial selection process." ********. It's called a retention voted [sic]. Don't like Justice Dan Biles? Vote him out in a year. And, hey, aren't all professors supposed to be crazy liberals? I asked Mr. Ware about the value of retention votes in giving a voice to the people.…
Read More

Socialism And Big Government Expand In Kansas

By Karl Peterjohn, Kansas Taxpayers Network 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. The Kansas Supreme Court is dominated by liberal Democrats with three of its seven members having been appointed by Governor Sebelius. Since there has never been any statewide votes by Kansans authorizing a change in the Kansas Constitution to authorize state owned casinos. The Kansas top court has ruled that under the provisions…
Read More

Kansas must change its judicial selection method

From our friends at Kansas Liberty: 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. Read the full story at Kansas Liberty. Professor Stephen J. Ware of the Kansas University School of Law writes this in a Lawrence Journal-World editorial: What makes the Kansas Supreme Court selection process unusual is not that it’s political, but that it gives so much political power to…
Read More

Judicial Scandal Grows

Judicial Scandal Grows As $3 Billion Public School Spending Bill Advances By Karl Peterjohn, Kansas Taxpayers Network, www.kansastaxpayers.com 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…
Read More

Summary of blogging on judicial ethics in Kansas

News accounts report that there will be an investigation into the lunch that Kansas Supreme Court Justice Lawton Nuss shared with legislators. If it is the Kansas Commission on Judicial Qualifications that performs this investigation, I doubt we will see much happen. Last year, I along with Karl Peterjohn of the Kansas Taxpayers Network filed complaints with this commission against Justices Allegrucci and Nuss. I thought we made compelling cases, but the commission disagreed. (You may read my complaints and commentary in the links referred to below.) There was very little reporting in Kansas news media. Only lately has Kansas…
Read More

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…
Read More

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…
Read More