A day after Gov. Sam Brownback called on the Legislature to change the way Kansas selects Supreme Court and appellate judges, the president of the state’s association of lawyers offered to give up its majority on the state Judicial Nominating Commission.
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.
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.