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JimRusso (Jim Russo)

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Victims' families seek to remake top Kansas court

Robert Fateruchi, of ProPublica, has taken a more critical and in-depth look at the group Kansans for Justice and its effort to remove two Supreme Court Justices. His article explains under Kansas law such groups are neither required to file with the Secretary of State or disclose their donors. In addition, he points out that the man who inquired about filing requirements on behalf of the group is a prominent "pro-life" activist. http://www.propublica.org/article/a-k...

October 31, 2014 at 11:57 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Victims' families seek to remake top Kansas court

According to the website of Kansans for Justice, the group's treasurer is Kim Potochnik. A Kim Potochnik was the campaign treasurer for Sedgwick County Commissioner Karl Peterjohn, who in turn ran the Kansas Taxpayers Network from 1993 to 2008. The group changed its name to Americans for Prosperity (Kansas Chapter), which has significant ties to the Koch brothers.

Perhaps it is just a coincidence, but I sense there's much more to this story than meets the eye.

October 26, 2014 at 11:48 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Brownback to lead river float trip

I agree. Let's give credit where credit is due. If enough people get out on the river, perhaps they will be more supportive of efforts to clean it up.

September 26, 2013 at 6:50 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Stegall wins Senate confirmation to Kansas Court of Appeals

Martin Luther King advocated nonviolent resistance. Malcolm X advocated forcible resistance.

I agree with you, though, that discerning someone's viewpoint requires more than the cursory discussion that occurred during the nomination and confirmation process.

If Mr. Stegall had advocated forcible resistance to save the life of a death row inmate or of an endangered animal, perhaps a few more eyebrows and voices would have been raised by those vetting and confirming him.

September 6, 2013 at 2:23 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Senate committee recommends Stegall for appeals court

Yesterday's confirmation hearing confirms only one thing: the system for nominating appeals judges is broken. If the LJW had not published the story on the Schiavo editorial, would it have become public knowledge? Mr. Stegall and the governor's office certainly did nothing to make it public in advance so that it could be addressed.

As a poster above has noted, Stegall misrepresented the editorial as being simply about whether it was right for the father to give his daughter a drink of water. Giving her a drink of water would not "save her life"--the goal that Stegall and his co-signees used to justify law-breaking actions.

Further, we should remember the context of the time the editorial was written. Protestors were arrested for trying to cross picket lines with cups of water, which hardly seems to have been "forcible resistance." However, one of the types of forcible resistance that was being discussed was a Michigan militia leader's call for an unarmed militia to storm the hospice and take her to a safe house (http://articles.petoskeynews.com/2005...). Would Mr. Stegall have advocated this action? We will never know, thanks to the rushed and incomplete vetting. (Mr. Stegall also suffered when Senator Hensley incorrectly asserted that Stegall had attended a meeting of secessionists; if Mr. Hensley had taken the time to do a careful reading, he would have realized his accusation was wrong and unfair.)

Finally, Mr. Stegall referenced the tradition of civil disobedience in the U.S. That's true, but Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, who was referenced several times yesterday in the discussion, was slow to recognize the validity of civil disobedience and always abhorred any use of force to carry it out.

Ultimately, we shouldn't be arguing about this here. The governor's office and the legislature should have aired the issue thoroughly, with testimony from experts for both sides.

September 4, 2013 at 11:45 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Notable Kansans weighing in against new appellate court selection process

I have respect for both Tacha and Six, but I still wonder if they would have written letters of recommendation for Stegall if they had known that he had once endorsed extra-legal action and forcible resistance to the State as a response to a court decision he disagreed with.

Stegall co-signed a 2005 editorial addressing the withholding of feeding to Terri Schindler-Schiavo; Stegall and his co-authors stated if the Florida legislature and Governor Bush failed to intervene, that her family, friends and community would be "morally free to contemplate and take extra-legal action as they deem it necessary to save Terri’s life, up to and including forcible resistance to the State’s coercive and unjust implementation of Terri’s death by starvation."

The editorial may be found in its entirety at http://web.archive.org/web/2005032510...

How can Stegall expect others to follow his court orders if he is confirmed to the bench when he has openly advocated taking the law into one's hands?

August 31, 2013 at 7:59 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Top Democrat, Kansas governor's staff spar over court choice

I wonder if among the documents Stegall submitted to the Judiciary Committee is a 2005 editorial he co-signed addressing a court order allowing the withholding of feeding to Terri Schindler-Schiavo; Stegall and his co-authors stated if the Florida legislature and Governor Bush failed to intervene, that her family, friends and community would be "morally free to contemplate and take extra-legal action as they deem it necessary to save Terri’s life, up to and including forcible resistance to the State’s coercive and unjust implementation of Terri’s death by starvation."

The editorial may be found in its entirety at http://web.archive.org/web/2005032510...

I'm no expert on legal theory or qualifications to be a judge, but it does seem odd that a candidate for the Court of Appeals has endorsed extra-legal action and forcible resistance to a court order.

August 29, 2013 at 9:56 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

U.S. Attorney General Holder tells Brownback new gun law is unconstitutional

Regardless of the constitutionality of this law, are any firearms or ammunition currently being manufactured in Kansas?

May 3, 2013 at 8:18 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Idiotic bill

Perhaps the writer penned this letter before the beginning of April, because according to the legislature's website, SB 163 was "Stricken from Calendar by Rule 1507 " after moving to the House. Thus, it doesn't appeared to have made it to the governor's desk.

In addition, only one member of the Senate voted against the bill (38 ayes to 1 nay).

April 16, 2013 at 11:41 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Gun bills easily approved

Regarding the law limiting the federal government's ability to regulate "guns, ammunition, and accessories that are made . . . in Kansas," does anybody know if any guns or ammo are currently being made in Kansas?

Also, using the same legal logic, why doesn't the legislature pass a law outlawing federal oversight of other items that could be manufactured in Kansas: prescription medications, hard liquor, high explosives?

April 8, 2013 at 9:40 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

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