The Kansas Senate has narrowly passed a bill that outlines dozen reasons state Supreme Court justices can be impeached. It includes terms like “discourteous conduct” and trying to usurp the power of the legislative or executive branches.
Republican Senator Mitch Holmes says the bill clarifies the current impeachment powers in the Kansas Constitution.
“When officials are allowed to have absolute power, we run a real risk to our democratic process. We live in an era when people believe that independence of the courts and absolute power are synonymous,” says Holmes.
The bill was amended to include similar impeachment grounds for the governor and other statewide office-holders. Democratic Senator Anthony Hensley calls that a “smoke screen” to hide the real goal of the bill, intimidating the Supreme Court."
The purpose of 439 is to place inappropriate pressure on the judicial branch to make their decisions according to legislative dictates,” says Hensley.
Hensley calls the new grounds for impeachment vague and political. The 21-19 vote sends the legislation to the Kansas House for consideration.