Kansas currently has the LEAST democratic Judicial selection of any state in the country. Governor Brownback and Representative Kinzer are fighting for Judicial reform. Their legislation recently passed the House which would do away with the current lawyer-dominated system. Judiciary Committee Chairman Tim Owens refuses to hold committee hearings on the bill. The Senate has until March 18 to allow this bill to be heard in committee.
What are your thoughts on the current Kansas Judicial Selection? Would you like to see the citizens of Kansas have more selection through the the use of our elected Governor and Legislature or do you prefer our current system which gives attorneys in this state 300 times more say than the average citizen?
Do you think it's a coincidence that Judiciary Committee Chairman Tim Owens is himself an attorney? Just a few bits of information. There are approximately 9000 attorneys in Kansas, about half of these reside in 3rd district. Less than half of the 9000 attorneys vote for 'candidates' for Judges. So, in other words, less than 4500 people are allowed to select 5 of the 9 Judges on the Kansas Supreme Court.
I believe it is time for the Senate to vote ... What say you?
Found this editorial after I wrote this with more information. Good link.
This would be a good issue to discuss at the Owen's town hall meeting next Saturday. One of the questions on the survey that is getting a few "disagrees" is the one about electing judges by the people and having them confirmed by the State legislature. What is the better alternative that most of the conservatives would like to see? A system where the Governor appoints the judges and then they are confirmed? Just curious.
Alex, as one of the disagrees, yes, I would prefer a gubernatorial appointment/legislature confirmation process. Shame on us, the voters, if we allow both the governorship and the legislature to be populated with progressives (as the Kansas Senate is now, unfortunately...can't wait until 2012!).
The first thing I thought about when I read that question on the quiz is the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which allows U.S. Senators to be elected by popular vote. While it is not really a parallel situation, it is similar. When the Senators were chosen by the state legislatures, the states had a voice in the federal government. When it became a popular vote, whoever had the most money, or was the "prettiest" candidate won. I am convinced that we would not have Obamacare today without the 17th Amendment.
If, as Newsweek says, 38% of the population is incapable of passing the citizenship test (60% required to pass, and the majority of the questions are NOT difficult), I certainly don't want that kind of popularity contest deciding judges! Read the Newsweek story here. According to their results, 33% don't know when the Declaration of Independence was adopted; 65% can't say what happened at the Constitutional Convention, and 40% don't know who we fought in WWII.
I don't want people like that having a thing to say about who should be a judge, thank you very much!