Kansas Supreme Court

Government
12:50 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Three Finalists Chosen For Vacant Seat On Kansas Supreme Court

A former top aide to Gov. Sam Brownback is among three finalists for a vacant seat on the Kansas Supreme Court.

A special nominating commission has chosen Court of Appeals Judges Caleb Stegall and Karen Arnold-Burger and state District Judge Merlin Wheeler from 13 applicants for the high court. Brownback has 60 days to appoint one of them to the court.

Stegall was Brownback's chief counsel until the governor appointed him to the state Court of Appeals in January of this year. Arnold-Burger has served on that court since 2011.

Government
8:57 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Moritz's Departure Leaves Open Seat On State's Highest Court

Former Kansas Supreme Court Justice Nancy Moritz has taken the oath of office to join the federal appeals court that handles cases from six western and Plains states. The Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals says Moritz's temporary chambers will be in Lawrence.

President Barack Obama nominated Moritz in 2013 and she was confirmed in May. Her departure gives Gov. Sam Brownback his first appointment to the state's highest court.

Education Funding
3:56 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Court: Schools Unconstitutionally Unequal

The Kansas Supreme Court says the state has created unconstitutional inequalities between school districts by cutting state funds.

School districts and parents filed a lawsuit asking the state to increase education funding. The court says lawmakers created inequality when they cut certain education funds during the recession.

Justices say lawmakers must solve the problem by July, and some estimates indicate that a fix could cost more than $100 million.

Joyce Eisenmenger Morrison is with the group Schools for Fair Funding, which filed the lawsuit.

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School Funding Lawsuit
5:39 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Court Ruling To Dictate Way Forward On School Funding

A long fight over how Kansas funds its public schools will move from the courts to the Capitol next year after the state Supreme Court issues a ruling.

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Death Penalty
4:14 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

KS Supreme Court Hears Appeals In Carr Brothers Case

The Kansas Supreme Court heard death penalty appeals Tuesday from two brothers convicted in a quadruple murder.

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Criminal Sentencing
5:40 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Court Set To Hear First Hard 50 Appeal Since Law Change

Kansas Supreme Court justices are set to hear the first appeal of a Hard 50 prison sentence since lawmakers changed the way the sentence is imposed during a September special session.

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Courts
7:19 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Justices Mulling Over Education Funding Suit

In the Kansas Supreme Court hearing on school funding this week, justices had some pointed questions for the attorneys.

At issue is whether the state should increase education spending. But how much can we gather about the possible outcome of the case from the questions and comments made by the justices?

Here’s just one example from the oral arguments:

When Justice Eric Rosen pointed out that the state had agreed to increase education funding in a past lawsuit.

“Essentially, it stands before me in my eyes as a broken promise,” said Rosen.

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Education
7:16 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Kan. On Defensive Over School Funding Before Court

Several Kansas Supreme Court justices said Tuesday the state has broken its funding promises to public schools.

But they acknowledged that the current funding guidelines might not be feasible for the state, long-term.

The court will decide whether to uphold a lower-court's ruling from January. It ordered the state to increase school funding by at least $440 million a year.

A state law enacted in 2006 set the state's base funding for public schools at $4,492 per student, but the current base state funding is $3,838 per student, or nearly 15 percent less.

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Education
1:14 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Kansas Supreme Court Justice Worries About 'Constant Litigation' From School Districts

A Kansas Supreme Court Justice Eric Rosen said during a hearing Tuesday he worries about "constant litigation" if the court sides with school districts that have sued the state to increase public education funding.

A state law enacted in 2006 set the state's base funding for public schools at $4,492 per student each year, but the current base state funding is $3,838 per student, or nearly 15 percent less. In 2010, a lower court ruled that the state must boost its annual spending on public schools by at least $440 million a year.  That lawsuit followed one filed in 1999. 

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Energy
7:49 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Court Reverses Permit For New Kansas Coal Plant

The Kansas Supreme Court has reversed a state agency's decision to issue a permit to construct a new coal-fired power plant in southwest Kansas.

Friday's unanimous decision by the justices is a setback for Sunflower Electric Power Corporation in its plans to build a second plant near Holcomb.

The justices ruled that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment failed to account for new emission standards from the federal Environmental Protection Agency that were in place at the time the permit was issued.

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