Bill would allow impeachment of Kansas Supreme Court justices

Justices take their seats to hear oral arguments in a judicial funding case before the Kansas Supreme Court in Topeka, Kan., Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015.

? A bill before a Kansas Senate committee sets out several impeachable offenses for Kansas Supreme Court justices.

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard from supporters and opponents of the bill Thursday.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the state constitution currently uses high crimes and misdemeanors as grounds for removal from office. The new proposal would allow impeachment of Supreme Court justices if they usurp the authority of the Legislature, or for reckless judicial conduct, personal misconduct and failure to properly supervise judicial personnel.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Mitch Holmes, says the court has made several decisions recently that overstepped its authority, such as school funding rulings.

Opponents say the proposal attacks fair and impartial courts and singles out Supreme Court justices for treatment not applied to executive and legislative branches.