Outside Money Surge Makes Kansas Senate Race Costliest In State History

"Few Senate races have seen a gush of spending like the competition in Kansas between Sen. Pat Roberts (R) and independent challenger Greg Orman. That may be because, until lately, it had been unthinkable that a Republican incumbent could lose in the solidly red state.

But Roberts failed to break 50 percent in a primary against a weak tea party opponent. And on Sept. 3, the Democratic candidate dropped out after polls showed Orman could beat Roberts in a two-way race.

Lawyers on both sides of Kansas gay marriage debate agree: Courts are closing in on bans

"At public debate Tuesday in Lawrence about gay marriage's legality in Kansas, a local attorney and Indiana's solicitor general predictably shared little common ground. But where they did come to agreement was where future court decisions would come down on the matter.

The consensus: It doesn't look good for states defending same-sex marriage bans.

. . . 

The Challenge of Defining Rape

Ian Urbina wrote:

"States across the country are trying to figure out how to address the problem of sexual assault more effectively, and more often than not, they are looking to redefine the scope of sexual misconduct.

. . . 

With an effort also underway by the American Law Institute to reconsider when an assault becomes rape, some legal experts predict that changes to criminal laws in many states may not be far off.

. . . 

ACLU, Kansas attorney general go to court over gay marriage

Brad Cooper and Bryan Lowry wrote: 

"The assault on same-sex marriage bans zeroed in on Kansas on Friday with a new legal challenge that could clear the way for gay marriage in yet another state.

Two lesbian couples – one from Wichita and another from Lecompton – challenged the state’s ban in federal court Friday afternoon.

The lawsuit capped a topsy-turvy day that began with the state’s first same-sex marriage in Johnson County.

It ended when the state Supreme Court temporarily stopped the county from issuing any more licenses to gay couples.

Same-sex marriage remains in limbo in Kansas

Brad Cooper wrote:

"A Johnson County judge directed the district court clerk this week to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples without fear of being prosecuted under Kansas law.

. . . 

The status of same-sex marriage in Kansas shifted quickly this week, but it appears still unsettled.

'You can go ahead and get a marriage license,' cautioned University of Kansas law professor Richard Levy. 'But if you do that, you may run the risk that the order under which you got your license is declared invalid.'"

 

Johnson County green-lights gay marriage in Kansas; Douglas County to continue denying applicants

"The chief judge of the Johnson County District Court issued an order Wednesday clearing the way for same-sex couples to get married in that county. But a constitutional law professor at Kansas University said it's still not clear that such marriages would be valid under Kansas law.

. . . 

But because the Supreme Court did not directly rule on the issue — it declined to hear the appeals of five similar cases from various judicial circuits — some experts say courts in other states have not been given clear direction on how to proceed.

In strip-club case, typically closed records were released, GOP tipped off

Karen Dillon wrote:

"The Legislature closed those records to the public more than 30 years ago, and if members of the public want incident reports and investigative files, they typically have to sue to get them. The cases can be expensive: Some have cost $25,000 or more.

So media law experts found it 'amazing' when they learned that Montgomery County Sheriff Robert “Bobby” Dierks released investigative files from 1998 last month with just a records request.

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