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A legal fight in Kansas over funding for the courts is attracting national headlines and attention from advocacy groups outside the state. At issue is a law that changes the way chief judges are selected. A later budget bill was tied to the law.

As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, that means if the judicial selection law is struck down, the Kansas court system’s funding is also eliminated.

Chief Justice Lawton Nuss won't rule out having the Kansas Supreme Court review a lawsuit that involves an attempt by the Legislature to diminish the high court's administrative power.

Nuss said Thursday the high court could invoke what he called "the rule of necessity" to settle whether legislators can strip the Supreme Court of the power to appoint chief district court judges in each of the state's 31 judicial districts. A 2014 law gave that power to the district court judges in each district.

A district court judge struck down the law Wednesday.

A Kansas judge has put on hold his order striking down a policy imposed on the courts in a move that protects the judicial branch's budget.

Shawnee County District Judge Larry Hendricks issued a stay Thursday at Attorney General Derek Schmidt's request.

Hendricks on Wednesday struck down a 2014 law having district court judges instead of the Kansas Supreme Court pick chief judges in each of the state's 31 judicial districts. Hendricks said the law violated the state constitution by infringing on the Supreme Court's power to administer the courts.

Bryan Thompson

A Garden City medical marijuana activist is making national news. Shona Banda's home was raided and her son was placed in protective custody—at least in part due to something the boy said during an anti-drug presentation at school. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson has more.

Bryan Thompson

A Garden City woman whose home was raided March 24 after her son took issue with an anti-marijuana presentation at school turned herself in yesterday at the Finney County Law Enforcement Center. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson was there.

The budget-writing committee in the Kansas House has voted to cut 18 court reporter positions in the judicial branch and eliminate 13 additional unfilled positions.

Representative Pete DeGraaf, a Mulvane Republican, says this would help prompt the judicial branch to find cost savings. He says there's institutional resistance to change.

“Most of them know that this is inevitable and actually best and it’s efficient and probably the thing that needs to happen," DeGraaf says. "But who wants to be the first one to suggest it?”

OZinOH / Flickr / Creative Commons

Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court opens its October Term. Most Americans these days will not mark this first Monday in October with any fanfare, but in 18th-century Virginia, the celebration of “Court Day” established the legal and social rules for the entire community.

Legislators Not Finished With Court Appointment Debate

Sep 5, 2013

Leaders of the Kansas House and Senate Judiciary committees expect lawmakers to renew consideration of the way judges are appointed to the state Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.

Grant Boosts Efforts To Modernize KS Courts

Jul 10, 2013

An infusion of federal grant money is expected to improve access to court records and reduce expenses by expanding electronic case filing to more Kansas district courts.

Kansas Abortion Lawsuit Now On Federal Fast Track

Jul 1, 2013

The chief federal judge for Kansas has set what she considers an aggressive schedule for a lawsuit by Planned Parenthood against parts of a new state abortion law.