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Kansas Senate Committee Advances Bill Expanding Impeachment Powers

The Judicial Center houses the Kansas Supreme Court. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

A Kansas Senate committee has advanced a bill that would expand the grounds for impeaching a state Supreme Court justice.
The bill says justices could be impeached for trying to exercise powers given to the governor or Legislature. Republican Senator Forrest Knox says checks and balances in government are important.

"We have arrived at a point today in this country, in this state, where specifically Supreme Court justices have become kings, where there is no check," says Knox.
Democratic Senator David Haley says the real reason behind the bill is simple. He says some Republicans are upset about rulings by the courts on issues like school funding.
"It's just been a continuous attack on an independent branch of our government. The separation of powers is clear, it should remain clear," says Haley.
Republican Senator Greg Smith says this is not about attacking judges. It's about defining the reasons for impeachment. The committee approved his amendment, which applies similar grounds for impeachment to other elected officials, including the governor. 

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