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Archive for Friday, April 18, 2014

Kansas Supreme Court blasts bill signed into law by Brownback

April 18, 2014

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— In a rare public statement, the Kansas Supreme Court on Friday denounced a bill signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback, saying the measure would weaken the judicial system.

"The Supreme Court of Kansas has strongly opposed this bill since its creation. We are troubled now that it has been signed by the governor," the court said after Brownback's office revealed that he signed House Bill 2338.

The measure allows district judges — instead of the Kansas Supreme Court — to select the chief judge for the district's court. It also allows the chief judge of each of the state's 31 judicial districts to take control of their individual budgets from the state Supreme Court.

The bill also provides an additional $2 million for the judicial branch and increases docket fees.

The Supreme Court said the bill "weakens the centralized authority of the Kansas unified court system in exchange for money to pay our employees and keep courts open. And the money it provides still may fall short of even doing that.

"This is a poor trade. We have very serious concerns about what will happen to the administration of justice in Kansas. We believe Kansans deserve better," the court said.

Brownback's office did not immediately respond to the court's statement. He provided no comment on the bill in his news release about bills he had signed into law.

During debate on the bill, Senate Vice President Jeff King, R-Independence, described the legislation as a compromise to get a court budget for the next 16 months and avoid furloughs.

Comments

Fred Mertz 5 months ago

This legislature and administration is inept and dangerous.

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Eric MacDonald 5 months ago

This court has proven its willingness to exceed its authority and usurp the discretion of the elected legislature. The court has ruled on the education funding case in Kansas. While they haven’t the authority to enforce their opinion against the elected branches they are free to publish their finding and allow the electorate to make up its own mind on the issue. It will be resolved in the next election. That said the courts response is just another example of its willingness to weigh into politics and its unending yearning for power in the state. The greater threat to liberty is not politicians; it is an unchecked judiciary. They should consider themselves checked.

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Julius Nolan 5 months ago

The Supreme Court has been the only check on the out of control legislature and the totally in-competent governor. What brownie and his fellow koch heads have been doing will come back and haunt Kansans for years. We simply need to wake up and throw these idiots out of office and never again allow any Republicans to control the state like they have done for last 4 years.

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Scott Burkhart 5 months ago

The Supreme Court of the State of Kansas has been an activist court for several years now. They have taken active positions in the political arena which in and of itself is dangerous. The only reason they are screaming is because power that they have greedily and odiously hoarded is being rested from them. Good work Governor Brownback! Our state is in better shape now than when you took office. (Regardless of what the libs in Lawrence have to say about it!)

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James Howlette 5 months ago

"Activist court" Idiom.

Definition: a court that does something Scott doesn't like.

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Thomas Bryce 5 months ago

The Kansas Supreme Court ordered the Kansas Legislature to fulfill a State Constitutional Mandate for Public Education Funding at a level the Legislature's own Research identified. Then they refused. Now,The Kansas Legislature Has Decided to De-fund the Kansas Judicial System. Could this action by The Kansas Legislature and Governor Brownback be defined as "Obstruction of Justice"?

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Fred Mertz 5 months ago

Our country and state are best served when we have three equally strong branches of government that proved a check and balance to the others.

Obstruction of justice? Call it what you want, but any branch that intentionally tries to weaken or undermine one other branches is wrong.

Sure there are times that I think the judicial branch overreaches with its authority but that doesn't justify trying to bind the hands of the judicial branch.

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Shane Garrett 5 months ago

Thomas: Well questioned. I would give my opinion, however, there seems to be a freedom of speech limitation that I must abide by or face unforeseen, unknown, or known consequences.

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Thomas Bryce 5 months ago

That is Exactly why I left it as a Question,. I think, as Adults and Citizens, we can think for our selves and draw our own conclusions and not have to wait for some one to tell us how to think and Feel.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 months ago

The current chief executive of Kansas is clearly and undeniably a puppet of the Koch Regime and their billions of dollars that keep the him and his buddies in tall cotton. Although I do not put much stock in this, but the people of Kansas need to wake up to these bought and paid-for politicians and realize that they are doing the dirty work of the billionaires and not the people.

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Scott Burkhart 5 months ago

"In a rare public statement..."

My foot! There is nothing rare about public statements from this court!

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Bob Forer 5 months ago

Our Supreme Court tends to me very middle of the road to moderately conservative, and very able intellectually. Historically, they have been very quiet and temperate. Accordingly, you really have to piss them off to precipitate public comments such as the above

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Dan Eyler 5 months ago

So we have gone from a system of only 7 supreme court justices appointing 31 chief justices for the 31 district courts to now each district court system made up of many district judges selecting the chief judge of their district? I consider this a huge improvement in the Kansas justice system. I want to thank the Kansas Legislature for breaking the strangle hold the Ks Supreme Court held on the Ks judicial system.

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Larry Sturm 4 months, 4 weeks ago

The govener and the legislature shouldn't be able to strip any power from the supreme court it is one of the three checks and balances of the government doing so creates corruption and the Kansas republicans are to corrupted by the Koch brothers as it is.

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