To the editor:
Contrary to the statement made in Wednesday’s J-W article, Kansas is NOT the only state in which lawyers form a majority of the judicial selection committees. Lawyers make up a majority in Alaska, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming and the District of Columbia as well. The reason for having a large number of lawyers on the nominating committees is pretty obvious. Persons who have gone to law school are likely to understand better than the average person the qualifications necessary for superior judges, who, of course, must be lawyers.
There is a very well-financed right-wing movement to eliminate nonpartisan selection of judges all around the country. The attempt to subvert our system is part of that national movement. It did not originate among Kansans.
The promoters of this movement do not like nonpartisan, unbiased judges. They want judges who are biased in ways that they approve. They apparently think the chances of getting judges who are biased in their favor will be better if they can politicize the selection process. The chances of getting politically radical judges, whether of the right or left, are minimal with a nonpartisan selection system.
For several years bills were introduced in the Kansas Legislature, seeking to bring our appellate judges under political control. So far they have had no success for the simple reason that Kansans, both Republicans and Democrats, like our nonpartisan system of judicial selection. We are justifiably proud of it. It has worked very well in producing highly qualified nonpartisan judges.