Will new member of Supreme Court Nominating Commission tip balance in Brownback’s favor?

Lenin V. Guerra, an Olathe attorney, was recently chosen by default to fill an open seat on the Kansas Supreme Court Nominating Commission, a group that has significant influence over the naming of Supreme Court justices.

That commission has been the subject of intense and heated debates in the Kansas Legislature in recent years. Critics say it unfairly limits a governor's ability to name justices and gives too much control to the very attorneys who practice in front of the court.

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Partnership between KU School of Law and LMH will bring free legal aid, experience

"A newly-formed partnership between the University of Kansas School of Law and Lawrence Memorial Hospital will help bring free legal assistance to patients that are unable to obtain it on their own. At the same time, the program will give law students an opportunity to help with cases and gain valuable real world experience.

The partnership is part of a national movement of hospitals that will bring free legal assistance to low-income patients and other patients that are unable to obtain legal counsel, Associate Dean of Law Lumen Mulligan said.

How Police Still Fail Rape Victims

"Last week, the Department of Justice released a scathing report of the Baltimore City Police Department, concluding that officers were pervasively abusing their power in bluntly racist and gender-biased ways. 'We found that [the police department] has engaged in a pattern or practice of serious violations of the U.S. Constitution and federal law,' wrote Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division, 'that has disproportionately harmed Baltimore's African-American community and eroded the public's trust in the police.'

Partnership between KU, LMH to provide free legal counsel to patients in need

"A new joint program between the University of Kansas School of Law and Lawrence Memorial Hospital that would provide legal counsel to some of the hospital’s neediest patients will likely launch within the next few weeks.

The medical-legal partnership would offer free legal services to low-income patients with health-related legal issues while giving KU law students a chance to build professional experience and earn credit working on those cases.

Grand jury to investigate online voter registration

After Devon Weisenbach's wife's voter registration was not processed, he submitted a petition asking the Douglas County Court to appoint a grand jury to investigate the matter.

"'It's not a trial as we think of a normal trial. What a grand jury does is conduct an investigation to determine if there's enough evidence that some crime occurred,' said Mark Johnson, law lecturer at the University of Kansas.

Child Porn Gets Longer Sentences than Rape, Molestation

"Defendants who commit sexual contact crimes, such as rape or molestation against children, often receive lighter sentences than those charged with possessing child pornography, academics agreed. That discrepancy can be attributed to money and quality of evidence, they said.

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Federal crimes for child pornography are relatively new, said Corey Rayburn Yung, a professor at University of Kansas School of Law. 

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Kansas Court Upholds Death Sentence in Sheriff Shooting

"The Kansas Supreme Court has affirmed the death penalty conviction of Scott Cheever.

The case has been enmeshed in multiple legal battles over the state’s death penalty law. This is just the second such conviction to be affirmed since 1994, when the state’s death penalty statute was enacted.

'The Kansas Supreme Court has not upheld that many death penalty cases,' said University of Kansas Law Professor Lumen 'Lou' Mulligan."

Should Iowa Ditch Judicial Retention Elections?

"Judges and justices often make unpopular decisions, and these decisions may come back to haunt them come election season.

For Supreme Court justices in Iowa, that’s every eight years. And this November, Chief Justice Mark Cady, along with Justices Daryl Hecht and Brent Appel will be on the ballot.

Voters will not be asked to choose between the current justices and a challenger; rather with a retention election, voters are simply asked if each justice should keep his or her job.

But, many dislike Iowa’s judicial retention system.

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State officials adopt rule allowing thousands to vote in federal races without proving citizenship

"A small band of Kansas officials hastily enacted a rule Tuesday to allow more than 17,000 people who haven’t provided proof of citizenship to vote in federal races.

The regulation affects individuals who registered to vote at Department of Motor Vehicle offices and comes in response to a federal court order. The rule was adopted at the last minute — the day before advance voting for the August primary is set to begin.

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