Archive for Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Kansas judicial races get rare attention

November 2, 2010


Election 2010

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— For the past half century, Kansas Supreme Court justices have had little reason to worry about staying on the bench when retention elections rolled around.

Abortion opponents want to change that, starting with Tuesday's election.

Since the gubernatorial nomination process began in 1960, no member of the state's highest court has failed to get a two-thirds majority when up before voters for retention.

But earlier this year, Kansans for Life launched a "Fire Beier" campaign. The effort is named for Justice Carol Beier, who wrote opinions criticizing investigations of abortion clinics. It also wants to oust Chief Justice Lawton Nuss and justices Dan Biles and Marla Luckert.

"The public needs a chance to be involved. They do have a little chance on Tuesday to do something that has very little chance of being successful normally," said Kansas for Life executive director Mary Kay Culp.

Noting the tea party movement and the perceived strength of conservatives in Kansas, Culp said, "If we are ever going to be able to do it, you'd think we would be able to do it now."

Culp contends that the state's high court had interfered with investigations of late-term abortions, and has urged her group's supporters to oust the justices this election. KFL has more than 200,000 households on its mailing list.

A state commission on judicial performance has recommended all four Supreme Court justices be retained.

The court's spokesman, Ron Keefover, said the justices were working on cases and unavailable for comment.

In Kansas, the governor appoints Supreme Court justices from finalists picked by a nominating commission created to insulate the courts from politics. Kansas voters decide every six years whether a Supreme Court justice is retained.

You can check to see if judges have been recommended for retention by visiting


TecmoSuperBowlChristianOkoye 7 years, 4 months ago

Is there anything dumber than the fact that we vote on judges at all? Nobody has a clue about their performance unless they give a "controversial" opinion and even then people probably still have no clue if the ruling was judicially correct or not.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 7 years, 4 months ago

Agree with their decisions or not, the website is a farce. All of the judges up for retention are recommended. How is that helpful to the voting public? That said, studies show that it really doesn't matter how you pick judges and justices anyhow, so why waste the money on some silly undiscerning commission?

jonas_opines 7 years, 4 months ago

Well, this is helpful. Voting against anti-abortionists might help assuage my latent guilt at being forced to vote largely Republican this election. (other than Brownback or Kobach, of course)

ferrislives 7 years, 4 months ago

Thank you Kansans for Life; you have helped me to know that I WILL vote to RETAIN all of those judges. I appreciate the help!

Richard Payton 7 years, 4 months ago

Felons know how to vote for judges can see instructional video on youtube - just vote NO!

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