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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Democracy issue

December 3, 2012

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To the editor:

So now we have heard from two viewpoints on judicial selection in Kansas.

The judicial article of the Kansas Constitution was amended by voters in 1972 to facilitate the system we currently have. This did not satisfy everyone, but the system functions. And I have not seen much difference between districts with appointed and elected judges.

One of the primary duties of a court is to stand between the people and the democratically elected branches of government. Democracy, since ancient times, has been used to inflict the will of the majority over those who disagree. In Athens, for instance, a group of “dikasts” or jurors selected by lot convicted one Socrates of impiety and subverting the youth by a majority vote. Also by a majority vote they sentenced him to death or banishment. Requiring a unanimous vote in a jury is not democratic.

Allowing “nine old men” to determine that a government program exceeds the powers of government is not democratic. A court telling a president he has no authority to seize private property is not democratic.

Courts doing “the will of the people” have existed in the old Soviet Union, Cuba, and any number of banana republics (you cannot beat 100 percent as a mandate).

The Kansas judicial selection process is among our lesser problems.

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