the past 24 hours an Associated Press story appeared regarding the likelihood
of the selection method for the Kansas Supreme Court being taken up by the 2014
Kansas Legislature. I was asked for comment on behalf of the KBA.
quoted comments were:
is not a good situation to have one system for the Court of Appeals and a
separate system for the Supreme Court. The issue is going to return in the 2014
people who read my remarks, including members of various legal associations,
interested in this important issue have interpreted these remarks to imply that I
and/or the KBA want the selection process for the Kansas Supreme Court to mirror
the new Kansas Court of Appeals selection process. This interpretation could
not be farther from the truth. My personal position and the position of the KBA
is and has been that there should be one selection process for both appellate
courts and that process should be one of Merit Selection.
the past two and a half years, others and myself have literally spent hundreds
of hours working with legislative leaders and the governor’s office in an
effort to determine if there was a way to retain Merit Selection while
addressing the complaints of its detractors. The KBA Board of Governors has
spent hours in discussions over a number of proposals during this time. No
agreement was able to be reached, and the process for selection of the Kansas
Court of Appeals was changed in the 2013 Kansas Legislature over my and the
KBA and all of its officers are committed to retaining Merit Selection for the
Kansas Supreme Court and will advocate for returning to Merit Selection for the
Kansas Court of Appeals.