Courts Budget Intensifies Kansas Dispute Over Powers

"The fight between Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas and the state’s judicial branch has escalated, with the governor last week signing into law a bill that could strip state courts of their funding.

The measure, at the end of a lengthy bill that allocated money for the judiciary this year, stipulates that if a state court strikes down a 2014 law that removed some powers from the State Supreme Court, the judiciary will lose its funding.

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Kansas Lawmakers’ Budget Links Court Funding to Judicial Decision

"A budget advanced by Kansas legislators would eliminate funding for state courts if a judge strikes down a controversial law passed last year.

Republican senators and representatives agreed Monday on a two-year judicial budget that would self-destruct if any court blocks or overturns a 2014 law that stripped the Kansas Supreme Court of some administrative authority, giving local courts control over their own budgets and leadership.

Kansas Schools Fight Plays Out Against Backdrop of Debate on Judiciary

"This state’s judicial and legislative branches are on course for a constitutional clash after a state appellate court suggested that it might block a school financing plan that lawmakers passed.

The plan, championed by the conservative-dominated Legislature and the Republican governor, Sam Brownback, cut tens of millions of dollars in aid intended to close disparities between rich and poor districts.

Recent Kansas school finance actions raise several constitutional questions

"A Kansas University law professor said one result of the new school finance law passed by the Legislature this week could be to halt the ongoing lawsuit over school funding and force the plaintiffs to start over with a new case.

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But he said another possibility is that the battle between the Legislature and the courts could lead to the kind of constitutional crisis that occurred in 2005, when lawmakers initially refused to comply with a Supreme Court order to increase school funding, and the court threatened to close public schools until the Legislature did comply.

US supreme court won't stop Alabama's first same-sex marriages

"Same-sex couples in Alabama were flocking to the state’s courthouses, where some were able to apply for marriage licenses while others were turned away by probate judges refusing to follow a higher court’s ruling to overturn the state’s ban on gay marriage.

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Richard Levy, a constitutional law professor at the University of Kansas, told The Guardian that it will likely be some time before all probate judges have to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

Kansas Government Fighting Same-Sex Marriage

"A legal expert contends the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to rule on same-sex marriage will determine the fate of Kansas' ban on the unions.  But University of Kansas Constitutional Law Professor Richard Levy thinks the state could still fight implementation of a judgment allowing gay marriage.

Levy said, 'It’s possible that there could be various kinds of state laws passed that test exactly what the limits are, and in the process slow its recognition.'

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