Chanute Tribune: Kansans for Fair Courts backs retaining judges

By Joshua Vail | Tribune reporter

Chanute native and retired 11th District Court Judge Don Noland is very concerned about the November Kansas Supreme Court Justice Retention vote. He urges voters to "flip the ballot" and vote yes to retain all judges, who are listed on the back of the ballot.

Five of the seven judges on the bench are up for retention this year, and a campaign is aiming to unseat four of them.

"This is the first time in Kansas that there’s an organized attempt to vote out Supreme Court Justices," Noland said. "This attempt is largely promoted by the governor and some of his allies in the legislature."

Noland is working with Kansans for Fair Courts, an initiative of the Kansas Values Institute. He and other current and retired judges and lawyers are touring southeast Kansas, speaking throughout the state to explain the importance of an independent judiciary. They are encouraging voters to retain all five Supreme Court justices.

Up for retention this year are Chief Justice Lawton R. Nuss and Justices Carol A. Beier, Marla J. Luckert, Dan Biles, and Caleb Stegall.

Stegall is a Brownback appointee and his retention is not directly being challenged, though it is possible he will be caught in the crossfire if the campaign is successful; people may simply vote no on all retentions.

Kansans for Fair Courts believes that Governor Sam Brownback wants the four justices removed from office so he can replace them with justices who will rule in favor of his conservative politics.

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