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Daily Signal: Why Kansas Conservatives Are Pushing Voters to Reshape the State’s Highest Court

By Josh Siegel | Daily Signal

It’s typically a no-drama affair. Every six years, Kansans vote whether to retain the state’s sitting Supreme Court justices.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and other conservative Republicans in the Legislature have not been shy about wanting to reshape the state’s Supreme Court.

Conservatives have accused justices of overstepping their authority, and have expressed outrage over rulings that overturned death penalty verdicts and struck down abortion restrictions. In another controversial ruling, the court determined the Republican-led Legislature has not adequately and equitably funded public schools.

In response, the Kansas Legislature has proposed bills to change the way justices are selected in the state, giving the governor more power in appointing them. That effort so far has failed.

In 2014, the Legislature passed and Brownback signed an appropriations bill that weakened the state Supreme Court’s administrative authority over local courts. Last year, the state Supreme Court ruled that measure unconstitutional.

The criticism of the seven-member court by conservative politicians has elevated the judicial elections into the public discourse. Outside groups are campaigning—and spending heavily on the election. And the Kansas Republican Party for the first time took a formal position on judicial retention.

Read the entire article at the Daily Signal.