Law professors to participate in voting rights program

Thursday, September 08, 2016

LAWRENCE — The Dole Institute of Politics announced today the addition of a Constitution Day program on voting rights featuring Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and KU Law adjunct professor Mark P. Johnson.

The annual Constitution Day program is titled “Protecting Election Integrity, Voter Suppression, or Something Else?” and will take place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13. It will feature a discussion between Johnson and Kobach on the Constitution and voting rights, including voter ID laws, proof of citizenship laws, the Interstate Crosscheck system and more. Stephen McAllister, KU Law professor and solicitor general of Kansas, will serve as the program’s moderator.

“Voting rights is in the news and in the courts all across the nation, and now it’s at the Dole Institute,” said Associate Director Barbara Ballard.  “This exciting panel will discuss voting rights, and we know the public will want to attend and ask their questions as well.”

The event will be free, open to the public and located at the Dole Institute. It is co-sponsored by the KU School of Law.

The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics is dedicated to promoting political and civic participation as well as civil discourse in a bipartisan, philosophically balanced manner. It is located on KU’s West Campus and houses the Dole Archive and Special Collections. Through its robust public programming, congressional archive and museum, the Dole Institute strives to celebrate public serve and the legacy of U.S. Senator Bob Dole.

More information on all programs, as well as ongoing additions to the schedule, can be found on the Dole Institute’s website, www.doleinstitute.org.

Obama court nominee might be best Republicans can get, Kansas solicitor general says

"President Obama’s nominee for the open seat on the Supreme Court might be the best conservatives can get and could be confirmed by reluctant Republicans if Hillary Clinton wins the White House, Kansas Solicitor General Stephen McAllister said Friday.

...

'He is well-respected and probably as moderate a nominee as the Republicans could hope for,' McAllister said. 'The Republicans, if she wins, and Garland hasn’t been withdrawn, might want to approve him right after Election Day because he’s probably better than anybody they’re going to get from Mrs. Clinton.'"

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.

...

'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.'”

Hundreds May Get New Sentence After SCOTUS Decision

"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.

...

 agreed.

Supreme Court Eases Burden for Prosecutors in Death Penalty Cases

"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.

KU law professor calls arguing before High Court memorable, impactful

"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.

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