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Kansas House Rejects Change to Supreme Court Selection

Photo by Stephen Koranda

The Kansas House has rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have changed how state Supreme Court justices are selected. The plan would have given the governor the power to pick justices, subject to Senate confirmation.
A bipartisan group voted against the proposal. Democratic Representative Boog Highberger was concerned the change would have inserted politics into the selection of justices.

“For our system of government to work properly it’s based on checks and balances, and for it to really work properly, one of those branches needs to be insulated from partisan politics,” said Highberger.

Under the current system, a nominating commission screens candidates and the governor gets to pick from a pool of three choices.
Supporters of the proposed change said it would put more power into the hands of voters and their elected officials.
A constitutional amendment requires a 2/3rds majority vote to pass. It would have also needed the approval of voters.


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