KU law students bring home championship in Moot Court competition

The University is used to acknowledging all sorts of championships in various sports, but another University team just brought home a championship in something a little less known.

Law students Ashley Akers, from Casper, Wyo., and Maureen Orth, from Prairie Villiage, earned first place last weekend at this year’s National Native American Law Students Association Moot Court Competition, which took place at Michigan State University.

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Week puts focus on openness

"Sunshine Week, March 13 to 19, is a time to celebrate the Kansas Sunshine Laws. Under these laws, state and local governments generally must open their meetings and records to the public. Under the Sunshine Laws, Kansans have a right to know how officials are exercising their power and find out what the government is up to.

However, the Sunshine Week celebration this year coincides with rising concern about whether government in Kansas is sufficiently transparent. Open-government advocates are calling upon the Legislature to enact improvements in the Sunshine Laws."

Kansas Supreme Court decision could affect drunk driving cases

"The Kansas Supreme Court ruled last week that criminal punishment for refusing a sobriety test violates both the fourth and the fourteenth amendments of the United States Constitution.

'The Kansas Supreme Court took the position that a warrant is necessary if you're going to impose a criminal sanction for objecting to law enforcement when it seeks to take a blood test or a breath test,' said Mike Kautsch, law professor at the University of Kansas."

Judge would be first Indian-American named to Supreme Court

"Sri Srinivasan, a federal appeals judge who was born in India and grew up in Kansas, would be the first foreign-born justice to serve on the Supreme Court in more than 50 years.

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'I think any objection to Sri would have to be based on notions that he’s either not conservative enough or not liberal enough,' said Stephen McAllister, a law professor at the University of Kansas. 'It could not be intellectual ability, could not be writing ability, it could not be his general competence in the law,' McAllister said. 'He’s just extremely talented in all respects.'”

Kansas legislature attempts to redefine public record

"Under Kansas Senate Bill 361, the definition of the term 'public record' would change, possibly blurring the line between public and private.

'{Under the new law} a public record is recorded information that a public employee makes or keeps or possesses pursuant to his or her officials duties and that relates to the public business of a public agency,' said Mike Kautsch, law professor at the University of Kansas.

Native American judge considered for Supreme Court nomination

"The first Native American woman to be appointed to the federal bench is being discussed as a possible nominee for the Supreme Court. In 2014, Diane Humetewa was unanimously confirmed to become a judge for the U.S. District Court for Arizona.

If nominated, Humetewa would become the first Native American in the Supreme Court, a change that one University of Kansas law professor says would be helpful with the type of cases the court hears.

Your Turn: Independent judiciary serves all

"To some of us, whether we are in government or as citizens, the Kansas Supreme Court’s recent actions striking down the 2015 school-finance scheme could be seen as a wrongful power grab. Nothing could be further from the truth. The independence of the judiciary is not maintained for the benefit of the judges. It is for us — free citizens of a democratic republic governed under rule of law — for whom the courts stand open as fair and impartial tribunals."

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