U.S. Supreme Court justices appalled by details of Kansas murder cases

"The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday seemed likely to rule against three Kansas men who challenged their death sentences in what one justice called 'some of the most horrendous murders' he’s ever seen from the bench.


Kansas Solicitor General Stephen McAllister, who is also a professor at Kansas University’s School of Law, argued that requiring the state to conduct separate sentencing hearings would lead to inconsistent results and unfairly allow defendants to preview the state’s evidence."

KDHE Issues Birth Certificates to Same-Sex Kansas Couples

"The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has agreed to issue birth certificates for two same-sex couples. In both cases, the women had children through artificial insemination. Kansas law says a married couple can both be listed on the birth certificate for a child born through artificial insemination, but KDHE initially declined to list two women as the parents.

Attorney David Brown represents a Lawrence couple in a lawsuit over the issue.

Sue the Bank? You May Get Your Shot

"The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is moving toward new rules giving borrowers more rights to sue banks and credit-card companies, the agency's latest attempt to shift the balance of power to consumers from financial institutions.


The proposals under consideration would ban companies from including arbitration clauses that block class-action lawsuits in their consumer contracts for a broad range of financial products.


TPP Should Alarm Gulf States as US Turns to Pacific Rim

"On Monday, 12 Pacific Rim countries, including the United States, reached a consensus on the wording and subject matter of the TPP free trade agreement.

'This TPP ought to send shockwaves across the Gulf, because… it is showing that the United States is serious about re-balancing its focus out of the Middle East and towards the Asia Pacific region,' Raj Bhala, who is also a University of Kansas Law Professor, said."


Kansas A.G. Derek Schmidt: 'State has a very strong argument' in Carr brothers case

"Carr, along with his brother, Reginald, had been arrested as suspects in a crime spree that included the abduction, sexual assault and murder of four people in an abandoned soccer field in Wichita. The brothers were charged, convicted and sentenced to die for the crimes.

Fifteen years later, the fate of the Carr brothers remains irresolute. On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear two hours of oral arguments in which the state of Kansas will attempt to convince the nation’s high court that the Kansas Supreme Court erred in vacating the brothers’ death sentences.

Carr cases to be heard by a U.S. Supreme Court increasingly skeptical of the death penalty

"On the final day of a U.S. Supreme Court term that will long be remembered for legalizing same-sex marriage, two justices boldly and bluntly challenged the constitutionality of the death penalty in America.

Dissenting from the majority in Glossip v. Gross, a case centered on Oklahoma’s use of the drug midazolam in executions, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote June 29 that “the death penalty, in and of itself, now likely constitutes a legally prohibited ‘cruel and unusual punishment.’ ” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg concurred with Breyer’s dissent.

KU Prof and Kobach Wrangle over Voter ID Law

"Kansas adopted a voter ID mandate in 2011, requiring all voters in the state to show a picture ID. But not everyone is pleased with the measure, notes The Topeka Capital-Journal. Last week a law professor from the University of Kansas and Secretary of State Kris Kobach clashed over the measure. The two sharply disagreed over the likelihood that illegal immigrants would come out of hiding and risk arrest in order to vote.


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