TOPEKA - Kansans for Fair Courts responded to a proposal by Kansans for Life (KFL) to eliminate merit selection and politicize the Kansas Supreme Court. KFL executive director Mary Kay Culp and lobbyist Kathy Ostrowski yesterday said changing the makeup of the Supreme Court is important because anti-choice laws eventually face legal challenges there.
"The comments by KFL are shocking and should alarm anyone who cares about free and fair courts," said Kansans for Fair Courts executive director Ryan Wright. "There are serious issues facing our courts. Instead of ensuring that Kansans have access to them, Gov. Brownback is using the abortion issue to deflect attention away from his failed policies, target women and score cheap political points with his base. Kansans should not have to go through a special interest group to get justice."
In 2010, KFL led an effort to recall Kansas Supreme Court Justice Carol Beier after she was critical of then-Attorney General Phill Kline for his unprofessional conduct in a 2008 Planned Parenthood case. The recall effort, known as "Fire Beier," was rejected by Kansas voters 63 percent to 37 percent.
"Being passionate about your point of view is an important part of the democratic process, but this has crossed that line into bullying," said Wright. "If your team is losing, you don't rig the game by changing the referees until you start winning. If you don’t do that in sports why would you do it with something as important and serious as the law?"
For more information about merit selection and the overall judicial issue, please visit www.KansansForFairCourts.org. Kansans for Fair Courts is an initiative of the Kansas Values Institute.