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Archive for Friday, May 12, 2006

KU law professor to serve as legislative counsel

May 12, 2006

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— Kansas University law professor Stephen McAllister is the front-runner for a position that would provide legal advice to the state Legislature.

A legislative leader and McAllister confirmed Thursday that McAllister, former dean of the KU law school, would be recommended to be legislative counsel.

In that capacity, McAllister will advise the Legislature on constitutional matters and represent its views in lawsuits.

The position pays on an hourly basis and will not interfere with his job at KU, McAllister said. A final contract and pay provisions have not been settled, he said.

"They will deal every session with constitutional issues, and that is my interest," he said.

During the past session, McAllister advised the Legislature on constitutional parameters when lawmakers were discussing bans on picketing at military funerals.

He served as state solicitor from 1999 to 2003 under former Atty. Gen. Carla Stovall, arguing and assisting in several cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including defense of the state's sexual predator law.

Legislative leaders set up the legislative counsel post in last year's school finance bill. Some lawmakers had said their position on school finance wasn't being represented before the Kansas Supreme Court, which declared the funding system unconstitutional and ordered increased spending.

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