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Kobach: Kansas justices score lower in quality comparison

The Topeka Capital-Journal
Tim Carpenter
Thursday, January 22, 2015

"Secretary of State Kris Kobach argued Thursday the federal model of judicial selection placed higher caliber lawyers from Kansas on the U.S. District Court and U.S. Court of Appeals than the state’s existing approach for picking justices of the Kansas Supreme Court.

Kobach and Gov. Sam Brownback believe the Kansas Constitution ought to be amended to eliminate the nonpartisan merit selection system relied upon in Kansas to evaluate applicants for the state Supreme Court and to provide governors a choice among three finalists.

. . . 

'It is clear that the federal model yields the more qualified justices,' Kobach said.

. . . 

'For 47 years as a lawyer, teacher and law dean I have closely observed the Kansas Supreme Court,' said Martin Dickinson, a longtime member of the University of Kansas law school faculty. 'The only common denominator is that those elevated to the Supreme Court have been professionals dedicated to the rule of law, regardless of politics.'"