KBA responds to inaccurate Kansas GOP press release regarding Davis fundraiser
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Posted by: Beth Warrington
Earlier today a press release issued by Kelly Arnold, chairman of the Kansas Republican Party, contained numerous inaccuracies regarding the Kansas Bar Association and the appellate selection process, and accordingly, we are obliged to correct the record. In that release, Arnold suggested that Paul Davis used his influence as executive director of the KBA to help assure the selection of candidate Justice Carol Beier to the Kansas Supreme Court.
In his statement, Arnold said, "The fundraiser confirms the cozy relationship between Davis, the former Kansas Bar Association executive director who was involved with the nomination of Beier and other liberal members of the court.”
Contrary to Arnold’s assertions, Davis never served as executive director, and even while a staff member, had no responsibility to affect any appointments to the judiciary. Furthermore, Davis was no longer working for the KBA when Beier was selected for service on the Kansas Supreme Court.
Arnold’s implication that the KBA was involved with the Beier nomination is also erroneous, for while the KBA supports the selection of judges and justices based on meritorious work, the KBA has no official or statutory authority in the judicial selection process in Kansas. Candidates for a Supreme Court position are vetted by the Supreme Court Nominating Commission, a body that has no relationship to the KBA. This Commission forwards the names of three qualified candidates to the governor who makes the final selection, as we saw with the recent appointment of Court of Appeals Judge Caleb Stegall to the state’s high court.
The KBA does not endorse candidates for elected office or judicial appointment.