Proposal Would Change Judicial Selection Process

Jan 24, 2013

A proposal to give Kansas governors and lawmakers more power over appointments to the state's appellate courts cleared a legislative committee Wednesday.

The measure would amend the Kansas Constitution to allow governors to appoint whomever they choose to the state Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, subject to Senate confirmation. It would scrap the statewide, attorney-led commission that now screens applications.

Currently, the commission nominates three finalists for the governor, who then makes the appointment without legislative review.

Some Republicans have pushed for this change for almost a decade. They're frustrated with court decisions ordering the state to increase spending on its public schools.

Amending the state constitution requires approval by two-thirds majorities in both chambers and by a simple majority of voters in a statewide election.

The judicial selection measure would go on the general election ballot in November 2014.