Archive for Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bill changing court appointments stalls

February 25, 2012


— Many abortion opponents and conservative Republicans in Kansas are pushing to give the governor and legislators more influence over the appointment of appellate court judges, but a proposal seen as a step toward accomplishing their goals has stalled in the Legislature.

The state Senate rejected a bill Thursday to have the governor appoint new Court of Appeals judges, subject to Senate confirmation. The measure would end the screening of applications for the court by a nominating commission controlled by attorneys, expand the governor’s potential options in making appointments and give legislators a direct role.

The Senate’s 22-17 vote against the measure showed Democrats and moderate Republicans still have misgivings about changing how Court of Appeals judges and state Supreme Court justices are selected, despite concerns that the process is dominated unfairly by lawyers and not open enough to the public.

Critics of the bill remain suspicious because the measure, passed by the House last year, has the backing of Gov. Sam Brownback, a conservative Republican. The bill also has support from the anti-abortion group Kansans for Life and the small-government, anti-tax group Americans for Prosperity.

Some legislators, even critics of the bill, expect other proposals to change the judicial selection process to emerge this year, though not as dramatic as the changes in the bill rejected Thursday.


Mike1949 6 years, 3 months ago

The conservatives want as much power as they can get even if that means taking it way from the people. I wouldn't be surprised if in a few years they will try to eliminate our rights to vote politicians into office. Isn't that what they are going now, trying to fill the judicial system with only people that they know they can control? They only want people who think like them even in the judicial system that will curve the laws away from fairness of right and wrong to make decisions that only the republicans can agree with.

When are Kansans going to wake up and see what they are doing?

Richard Heckler 6 years, 3 months ago

Sam Brownback will come through the back door abusing his executive privilege option. This man cannot be trusted. He has no love for true republicans much less democrats.

Throw him out of office!!!

The Kansas legislature may need to to stay 12 months to protect the rights of Kansans,protect the judicial system and curb the reckless management of our tax dollars that Sam Brownback displays.

No matter the cost of a 12 month legislative session taxpayers will be money ahead.

William Weissbeck 6 years, 3 months ago

You need more friends who are attorneys. Except for the small segment that are truly plaintiff personal injury lawyers, I would venture, based on the many attorneys I know, that they are by and large conservative. Where they differ from other "conservatives" is that through their legal careers they have seen the wider society such that they are not driven by social issues, but rather by the rule of law. The merit selection of judges has served Kansans well, all except for a governor and a vocal minority that want their will to prevail.

verity 6 years, 3 months ago


The antipathy of many towards lawyers seems to be based in a large part on some who practice a certain kind of law and on a misunderstanding of what they are required to do. If your ex-spouse tells their lawyer to do something that is not illegal, the lawyer is required to do it, even if s/he feels it is against the client's best interests. Most lawyers never or rarely appear in a court of law---and prefer that a case not go to court if they are involved in one that might.

Judgeships should not be political. They should be based on the ability to interpret the law and Constitution.

Getaroom 6 years, 3 months ago

Giving any more power to the Governor and Legislators, especially now and especially in Kansas, is a very bad idea. Maybe we should just hand over all decisions to The Supreme Koch and not vote at all anymore. No need to do any redistricting, no taxes, no abortions, no indigents, no health care, no SRS. Think how much money we would save. It would be kinda like having the entire Unites States GOP Congress running Kansas. Hmmmm.... Give an open carry permit to anyone who wants one and open up a "You set 'em up, I'll knock 'em down" Saloon and an All Faiths Chapel in every town. Call in the resurrected and appointed, Preacher Sheriff Marshall Dillon to settle things up. Ye ha!!! AMERICA, like the Tea Party wants it back. Super size that Bible please. All is well in Oz, land of the free to range Governor! All Supernatural!

Paul R Getto 6 years, 3 months ago

+1. It's magic, I tell ya. Get used to it. Sam's muscular jesus is calling the shots now. We need to sit down, shut up and get ready for the return of the 'real' Jesus who will kick Sam's strange little muscular creation in his phony-balony ass and send him back to the C-Street cult. He can get additional training, wash the senator's feet and turn water into wine for their dinner/prayer parties.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 3 months ago

It is the liberals who have improperly used the courts to accomplish their political agendas! Look at abortion, school finance, homosexual marriage, and a whole host of other liberal agenda items and you will clearly see that the abuse has been on the liberal and Democrat side. Conservatives are merely attempting to bring some balance to the courts and allow the people of Kansas to have some checks and balance over the judiciary!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

I agree-- basic human rights are a horrible liberal evil inflicted on God's true Christian children (AKA the Phelpses.)

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

The judiciary acts as a "check and balance" force on the legislature, preventing them from passing unconstitutional laws.

It seems you'd like to remove that influence and replace it with more "will of the people" stuff, regardless of constitutionality.

But, that's not surprising, since your actual stated goal is to turn the US into a theocracy.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps the will of the people is better than the will of the elitists on the courts!

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps not.

Either way, that's not the way the founders intended to design our system.

bad_dog 6 years, 3 months ago

This is exactly the kind of comment I would expect to see from those that like to opine about the Constitutionality of various topics all the time...

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 3 months ago

The bill fits into the GOPs larger fear of "elites" making decisions for them basing those decisions on logic and reason rather than mythology and mysticism.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 3 months ago

Sometimes elitists have a secular bias that clouds their thinking process!

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Sometimes religious believers have a religious bias that clouds their thinking process!

verity 6 years, 3 months ago

Sometimes elitists have a secular bias that clears their thinking process!

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

And sometimes, well educated and intelligent people have more informed opinions about many things.

Our founders were well educated and intelligent people, who would probably be horrified at the anti-intellectual attitudes of the right these days.

Orwell 6 years, 3 months ago

We'll continue to be better off without a Crony Court basing its opinions on whichever side contributed the most to the governor's campaign. Sam the Sham wouldn't give a damn about the professional ability or ethics of his appointees – just whether they would reliably be "his guys."

William Weissbeck 6 years, 3 months ago

Old joke from law school days about grades. The "C" students became the legislators that wrote the laws, that the "B" students as lawyers would have to argue in court before the "A" students who became the judges.

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