Archive for Sunday, June 19, 2005

Power shift

June 19, 2005


To the editor:

In the United States, and specifically Kansas, constitutions are delineated into three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. Each branch is assigned some specific powers. The only branch assigned the power to impose taxes is the legislative. This is so because the legislative branch must stand for election on a periodic basis and, thus, must account to the electorate for their conduct.

If the recent Kansas Supreme Court decision ordering the Legislature to increase funding for education is allowed to stand, then the power to tax will have passed from the legislative branch to the judicial branch. Judges, for all intents and purposes, do not face the electorate on a periodic basis and, thus, cannot be held responsible by the electorate for their actions. This "power grab" by the Supreme Court, regardless of how you may feel about educational funding, means that the court can at any time impose a "tax" and be completely immune to the consequences.

This is one form of judicial tyranny and leads to a very dangerous and slippery slope where the judiciary becomes supreme over the other branches, and our constitutional system of checks and balances ends. Someone needs to have the courage to challenge the constitutionality of this action by the court or we will all eventually rue the day.

Brent Garner,



Richard Heckler 12 years, 10 months ago

The issue is public school funding and the failure of the republican majority to follow through. This problem would not be on the table if the republican majority had not wanted to play politics with a tax cut years ago. That was not smart accounting practices but plenty of smoke and mirrors. If democrats went along at least they have the insight now to see that it was a mistake in which they tried to correct during the Graves administration. Republican Governor Graves wanted the mistake corrected and he was ignored by the republican majority for eight years.

New revenue has not been forthcoming and again the ruling party sat back and did nothing except watch the state cookie jar go empty...not real smart. There are some things uneducated politicians should leave alone. Public school funding is one of them.

Obviously there is a concerted effort by republicans to spin this around and distract from the real issue which is the republican party's failure to fund public schools. It is the republicans that forced the issue to the court in the first place. The republican majority ignored the consultants that they, the republicans, hired to advise the legislators. It is obvious to me that republicans want to waste more taxpayer money discussing the courts instead getting down to the business of funding public education.

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