National free speech group says KU is among schools with codes that ‘violate’ the First Amendment; University Senate free speech committee continues meeting

"The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, has included the University of Kansas on a list (a rather large list) of public colleges and universities it says have speech codes that violate the First Amendment and student and faculty rights to free speech. 

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The committee is continuing to work on its charge, led by Richard Levy, KU’s J.B. Smith Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law. He recently checked in with the University Senate Executive Committee for some guidance. 

Law Expert says Kansas Same Sex Marriage Ban Will Fail in Court

"A federal court hearing that had been scheduled over the Kansas same sex marriage ban was canceled Friday. The American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the case, told the court it needs more time to review the state's response to the lawsuit because the response had just been filed. ACLU attorney Doug Bonney said U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Crabtree is considering whether to reschedule the oral arguments or decide the case based on written arguments from attorneys on both sides.

As court prepares to hear school funding case, voters may hold most of the cards

"The long-running school finance lawsuit Gannon v. Kansas will return to the state Supreme Court on Wednesday, marking the fourth time the justices have been asked to resolve the matter.

This time, though, the oral arguments before the court will coincide with a hotly contested political campaign in which the issue of school funding is driving many races for state legislative seats.

The arguments also come at a time when five of the seven Supreme Court justices are on the election ballot themselves.

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Texas abortion decision could have Kansas implications

"News of the Supreme Court striking down Texas' strict regulations of abortion clinics may have a trickledown effect in Kansas. Texas rules require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and forced clinics to meet hospital-like standards for outpatient care.

The nation's highest court held Monday that those regulations are medically unnecessary and unconstitutionally limit a woman's right to an abortion. Some law experts say that regulations in Kansas are quite similar.

Obscure 2005 law emerges as possible tactic in Kansas schools fight

"When the Kansas Supreme Court and state legislature faced off over school finance more than a decade ago, many lawmakers insisted that judges had overreached.

So much so that they passed a law banning courts from closing schools if the issue ever got to that point again.

And now that we’re there, with a June 30 deadline looming and the threat of a school shutdown real, some legislators insist judges should go back and abide by that 2005 law.

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Gov. Kathleen Sebelius appointee penned anti-abortion Court of Appeals ruling

"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.

After 149 years, Kansas lawmakers still grappling with 14th Amendment

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.

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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.

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