America's constitutional framers created an independent judicial branch as a check on government power and to protect rights of the minority, panelists at the Dole Institute of Politics said Thursday evening.
"It is the critical element of our constitutional framework," said Kris Kobach, a University of Missouri-Kansas City law professor and former Republican congressional candidate.
"It's a restraining document - a document to restrain what government can do to individuals. Somebody has to be that restraint," said Chief Judge Deanell Tacha of the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and a Lawrence resident.
Kobach, Tacha, Kansas Supreme Court Justice Eric Rosen and Kansas Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt, R-Independence, spoke to more than 100 people during a forum as part of Constitution Day activities.
KU law professor Stephen McAllister moderated the panel.