Letter to the editor: Judicial meddling

To the editor:

I’d like to respond to a comment left on the news story about conservatives’ push for a school finance amendment. The text of the comment was this:

“Haven’t they learned after the last election that people in Kansas like their public schools? Get a clue. Vote out anyone who supports the amendment. Vote in anyone who will do their job.”

A couple of thoughts. First, this person grasps innately that elections should have consequences on issues like school funding. Unfortunately, the Kansas Supreme Court isn’t responsible to voters. Secondly, having the Kansas Supreme Court acting as a sort of gutter-guard on issues like school finance hurts the Kansas Democratic Party. When neither party can be held responsible for school funding levels, it effectively removes a plank from both parties.

I support a policy of judicial engagement in the courts and wouldn’t go so far as to strip all oversight powers regarding education funding. However, having a law struck down for four out of five funding years based on an inflation adjustment is judicial meddling.

Wouldn’t it be preferable for our politicians to debate amendments to the law fixing the inflation issue while being certain schools weren’t going to close in the interim? At a time when more and more Republicans across the nation are losing respect for the separation of powers under the president, Kansas Democrats are as well under this Supreme Court.


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