Kansas Supreme Court

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Two former Kansas attorneys general, a Democrat and a Republican, say Kansas Supreme Court justices should keep their jobs. Five justices face retention elections this November.

The two former politicians have joined a campaign by the group Kansans for Fair Courts.

Former Attorneys General Bob Stephan and Steve Six say the Kansas justices have been fair and impartial in their rulings. They say a very small number of the court’s decision have been overturned on appeal, which shows the justices are doing good work.

The first TV spot has landed in the contentious battle to retain four Kansas Supreme Court justices in the November Election. The ad was paid for by Kansans for Fair Courts, the group backing retention.

The 30-second spot starts airing in the Wichita market on Friday. It takes on the two biggest issues Republicans and other conservatives are using against four of the five justices on the ballot: the death penalty and school finance.

The ad also tries to tie the ouster of the justices to Gov. Sam Brownback.

J. Stephen Conn / flickr Creative Commons

The building that houses the Kansas Supreme Court will need significant repairs after heavy rains seeped through a leaky roof.

Court spokeswoman Lisa Taylor says the building could need new walls, ceilings and flooring.

“We were in the middle of a re-roofing project, and we also were having a significant amount of rain, and suddenly the rain coming down outside was coming down inside in sheets,” Taylor says.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Legislators in Kansas have some big issues on their plate next year. As Stephen Koranda reports, they’re already planning on a long session.

Kansas lawmakers already know they’ll have to balance the state budget. Add into that the huge issue of writing a new school funding formula.

But that’s not all: The Kansas Supreme Court could issue a ruling that says the state has to increase funding for schools by hundreds of millions of dollars, which would further complicate everything.

It’s been a half century since Kansas has executed a convicted killer and generally speaking, it’s not much of a political issue in the state.

But conservatives are banking on capital punishment in their campaign to oust four state Supreme Court justices.

When it comes to whether or not the Supreme Court justices should be kept on the bench or voted out, we’ve heard mostly about school finance and whether the high court should even be a player in that.

But lurking in the background, especially around Wichita and in western Kansas, is the death penalty.

J. Stephen Conn / flickr Creative Commons

A majority of the Kansas Supreme Court's justices were openly skeptical Wednesday of the cash-strapped state's arguments that legislators are spending enough money on public schools to provide a suitable education to every child.

But Justice Dan Biles also suggested that if the court concludes that inadequate funding has allowed some children to fall behind, its order might have to be targeted to helping just them allowing the state to potentially shift funds from programs for gifted students.

The Kansas Supreme Court will hear two hours of oral arguments Wednesday in the Gannon school funding case.

It's hard to imagine an educator, lawmaker or legislative candidate not sitting on the edge of their seat looking for a clue as to how the justices will rule.

Here are some FAQs on the hearing:

So you're telling me the case is still going? Didn't we just have a big Gannon story not long ago?

Christopher Sessums / flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday in the latest lawsuit over school funding. At issue is whether the state is spending enough on schools.

alamosbasement, flickr Creative Commons

The largest teachers union in the state is asking the Kansas Supreme Court to overturn a law making it easier to fire teachers.

The 2014 bill took away a teacher’s right to an impartial hearing before being fired. Under a previous law, after three years, teachers were awarded that protection under the previous law.

At a hearing today, the union said lawmakers violated the state Constitution, which says bills can only contain one subject. KNEA General Counsel David Schauner says lawmakers improperly took a school funding bill and added the provision stripping tenure.

Jimmy Emerson, DVM, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Supreme Court wrestled Monday with whether it should censure former Wichita-area judge Timothy Henderson over allegations that he was not candid in answering questions about earlier accusations of sexual harassment and other improper conduct.

Henderson, a Sedgwick County District Judge, lost his re-election bid in the Republican primary. His resignation was effective Sunday. Because of that, his attorney, Thomas Haney, said the latest case against Henderson is now moot.