"Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Democratic Rep. Jim Ward of Wichita offered sharply different accounts this week about how the state's new, restrictive voting laws have affected voter participation in Kansas elections.
Kobach and Ward appeared together before the Kansas Advisory Commission to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
"Hundreds of prisoners serving mandatory life without parole sentences for crimes they committed when they were juveniles may get new sentencing hearings after a Jan. 25 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The court's 2012 decision banning mandatory life without parole sentences for juvenile offenders applies retroactively, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the 6-3 majority.
"Child pornography is not like guns or drugs. It can be infinitely copied and distributed. When the government distributes tangible contraband as part of a sting operation, it cannot hope to contain or limit the dissemination of the illegal goods.
If the allegations against the F.B.I. are true regarding its control of the network for approximately two weeks, it actively participated in the revictimization of those depicted in child pornography with no possibility of controlling distribution. Such conduct is immoral and inexcusable."
"Former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is a foe in the eyes of anti-abortion advocates in Kansas, and yet it was a Sebelius appointee who issued the Kansas Court of Appeal’s anti-abortion minority opinion Friday.
Richard Levy, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Kansas, said lower court judges have less discretion to pursue personal predilections because they are bound by higher court rulings.
"The Supreme Court Wednesday eased the burden for prosecutors seeking the death penalty, throwing out state court rulings intended to make sure jurors properly considered evidence defense lawyers introduce to argue against a defendant’s execution.
The issue came from Kansas, where a 2001 state supreme court ruling required trial judges to tell jurors that mitigating evidence—that is, aspects about a defendant’s crime or background pointing toward mercy—need not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
"A University of Kansas distinguished law professor has extra reason to be pleased with this week's U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding death sentences for three Kansas men. He helped argue the case.
In addition to his KU role, Stephen McAllister works with Attorney General Derek Schmidt as the state's Solicitor General. McAllister appeared with Schmidt in October before the nation's High Court, arguing the Kansas Supreme Court incorrectly applied federal law in the death penalty cases of Reginald and Jonathan Carr and Sydney Gleason.
The 14th Amendment was one of three post-war amendments that were supposed to put the issues of slavery and racial discrimination to rest. It’s the one that says, among other things, that states may not deprive their citizens of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor deny to any of them equal protection under the laws.
But today, 149 years later, issues that are embedded in the 14th Amendment continue to stir controversy in statehouses around the country, on issues ranging from abortion to gay rights, and from even voting rights to school finance.
"A panel on 'Grappling with Campus Rape' was part of the 'Hot Topic' program at the American Association of Law Schools annual meeting, held January 6-10 in midtown Manhattan. Indeed, that issue has been the focus of particularly intense polemics in academia. A number of law professors, even some with strong liberal feminist credentials, have spoken out against the campus rape panic and the push for harsher measures that they say trample on students' rights.
"A dozen mostly left-leaning speakers, each allotted 10 minutes to give their thoughts on a controversial topic, Grappling with Campus Rape. The venue was the American Association of Law Schools’ 2016 meeting in New York City in early January.