Gov. Brownback's Selection Of Stegall Stirs Debate Over Judge Selection Process

A recent change in Kansas law has re-ignited the debate on how judges are selected to the bench. In this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske examines the methods for seating judges, and who should hold the final say in how they are chosen.

Guests:

Stephen Ware is a Professor of Law at the University of Kansas.

Matthew Menendez is counsel for the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law.

The New Justice In Kansas: Judicial Selection And The Governor’s Race

Frank Morris wrote, "The candidates for governor in Kansas are sparring over taxes, health care and school funding. But in many ways there’s a more fundamental issue that separates  Gov. Sam Brownback from his Democratic challenger, Paul Davis. Both stand on opposing sides of a running battle over how state Supreme Court justices should be chosen.

. . . 

Building of dreams: A downtown real estate deal goes south, costing investors and retirees millions

Karen Dillon and Keith King wrote:

Millions of dollars are missing following the failed purchase of two landmark buildings in downtown Kansas City.

Critics say a Ponzi Scheme drained the pockets of dozens of victims including local power brokers, retirees living on fixed incomes and those with life-threatening illnesses, an investigation by 41 Action News found.

At the center of the defunct deals is Brenda Wood, a business woman from Leavenworth County who owns a small janitorial service that cleans school buildings and other facilities.

 . . . 

Legislators open hearing on Kan. judicial changes

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Several law professors said Wednesday they would favor a different system for appointing judges to the Kansas Court of Appeals and the state Supreme Court.

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony on a proposed change in the Kansas Constitution that would allow the governor to appoint appellate judges, with confirmation by the Senate. Voters would have to approve the constitutional change.

Lawmakers hear arguments for changing Kansas' court selection process at legislative retreat

Conservative lawmakers heard several options Saturday for changing how Kansas’ appellate and Supreme Court judges are selected in a discussion that may foreshadow a fierce debate in the upcoming legislative session.

Stephen Ware, a law professor at the University of Kansas, said Kansas’ judicial selection system is unusual and “undemocratic” in how it chooses its nominating commission.

Kansans elect a governor and the governor selects four members of the commission. But five of the members are elected by 10,000 or so members of the Kansas Bar Association.

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