To Kansas Bar Association Members:
The Kansas House will discuss changes to merit selection today and tomorrow in caucus. The discussion will be how Kansas Supreme Court Justices are selected. There are a number of proposals before them, but the push would be to approve HCR 5005. This would eliminate the Supreme Court nominating commission, and replace it with a process allowing the governor power to nominate any person for appointment, subject only to senate approval.
Prof. Stephen Ware and Kansas AG Derek Schmidt have been invited to the House Judiciary Committee to discuss merit selection, and the Carr brother’s death penalty case respectively.
This is a direct attack on the independence of the Kansas judicial system, and a significant blow to the separation of power. The merit selection proposal requires a Constitutional majority, or two-thirds of the vote to be approved.
To avoid such an outcome, the KBA requests you contact your Kansas House of Representative member and urge them to vote NO on any changes to the current merit selection system for Kansas Supreme Court Justices.
They should vote NO for the following reasons:
- The current merit selection method places independent and qualified judges on the bench
- HCR 5005 calls for Senate confirmation of appointees which will result in political bickering
- Recent polling indicates that Kansans like the current method
- Kansans deserve a process free of politics, and an independent court system maintaining separation of powers as outlined by the Kansas Constitution
Find your legislators and view a sample email and talking points by following these links.
Call to Action Sample Email or Talking Points, if you would rather call.
Let your legislators know you believe in the Kansas tradition of merit selection, and the excellence and independence it has created in our appellate courts.