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.

Fight Over Kansas Court Funding Attracts National Attention - KPR

"A legal fight over funding for Kansas courts has attracted national attention. At issue is a state law that changes the way chief judges are selected. A subsequent budget bill stipulated that the Kansas court system would lose all of its funding if the judicial selection law was struck down. A district court has struck down the law. That decision is on hold while there’s an appeal, but it still leaves questions about funding for the courts.
 

Fight Over Kansas Court Funding Attracts National Attention - KMUW

"A legal fight in Kansas over funding for the courts is attracting national headlines and attention from advocacy groups outside the state. At issue is a law that changes the way chief judges are selected. A later budget bill was tied to the law.

As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, that means if the judicial selection law is struck down, the Kansas court system’s funding is also eliminated.

...

Kris Kobach’s dual voter registration system in Kansas is illegal and should be dumped, ACLU says

"An odd repercussion has arisen over Kansas’ proof-of-citizenship requirement for residents who register to vote.

So odd that the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas has asked a state court to put an end to the two-tiered voter registration system that Secretary of State Kris Kobach has created, a system that critics call the law’s 'unintended consequence' or, less kindly, 'collateral damage.'

...

Detainee transfers from Guantanamo to Leavenworth unlikely to result in new legal rights

"The transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to a military prison in Leavenworth could spark a rash of litigation but no assurances the detainees will gain an influx of constitutional rights, according to legal experts and civil rights lawyers.

...

'Detainees already have a right to the use of U.S. courts,' said Tom Stacy, a law professor at the University of Kansas. 'For purposes of habeas corpus, the transfer of inmates from Guantanamo Bay to Kansas wouldn’t really change anything.'”

Top Minnesota Officials Sort Out Sex Offender Program's Fate

"Minnesota is under federal court pressure to rework its program that locks up sex offenders even after they serve out prison terms, a system the state's political leaders have vigorously defended.

Come Monday, the challenge will be front and center as a cavalcade of lawmakers, program administrators and lawyers meet to discuss potential fixes to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program. The court conference is closed to the public. A coalition of media organizations, including The Associated Press, petitioned for access, but the judge denied the request.

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