About the Author
Joseph N. Molina III
Legislative Services Director
The Kansas Supreme Court is now accepting comments on new rules 11.01, 147 and 148. These rules are required to be amended as a result of changes to KSA 2016 Supp. 75-764. These changes concern notice to the Kansas Attorney General’s Office or prosecuting attorney when there is a challenge to the validity of a Kansas law on grounds that the law violates the state constitution, federal constitution, or federal law.
Ag Schmidt stated that, “the problem this bill seeks to address is not the outcome of those disputes – it is the process that allowed the disputes to be decided before the attorney general’s office was told they were underway.”
Attorney General Derek Schmidt proposed the new law after two instances where a law was found unconstitutional, and the attorney general did not have an opportunity to be heard. Ag Schmidt stated that, “the problem this bill seeks to address is not the outcome of those disputes – it is the process that allowed the disputes to be decided before the attorney general’s office was told they were underway.” Senate Bill 334 is a belt-and-suspenders measure aimed at plugging the procedural gaps that allowed these two cases to fall through the cracks. It is intended to reaffirm and clarify the public policy that when the validity of a state statute is being tested in court, the attorney general, as the state’s chief legal officer, is to receive notice of the dispute and have the timely opportunity to appear in relation to the statute’s validity. It also provides an after-the-fact mechanism so that if the notice requirements are violated, an order invalidating a state statute may be set aside once the attorney general learns of the matter. See; http://kslegislature.com/li/b2015_16/committees/ctte_s_jud_1/documents/testimony/20160127_02.pdf
As such, the Kansas Supreme Court will accept comments on this issue. It is important to recognize that the above cited rules will take effect on September 6, 2016 but the court will review comments and input to determine if the rules should be further amended. You can view the rule here: http://www.kscourts.org/rules/Rules_Open_for_Public_Comment/default.asp
The court will receive comments until 5 p.m. Sunday, October 2, 2016.