The Kansas House has given first-round approval to a bill that changes how appeals court judges are selected. The bill allows the governor to appoint appellate court judges, who would then be confirmed by the state Senate. Critics of the current system say it isn't democratic enough, because a nine-person nominating commission selects candidates. Five of the nine are attorneys. Representative Lance Kinzer, an Olathe Republican, says the change would be a step in the right direction.
Representative Steven Becker is a Republican from Buhler, and a retired district court judge. He says the motivation for the bill is that the political makeup in the legislature has changed, but the courts haven’t. He says the proposal is a bad idea.
The bill will now be considered by the Kansas Senate.