PRESS RELEASE: Local & State Education Advocates Support Judicial Retention
OLATHE - 11/1/16 One week out from Election Day local and state education advocates gathered on the steps of the Johnson County, KS courthouse calling for the retention of the Kansas Supreme Court justices and Court of Appeals judges. Representatives from parent advocate groups such as Game On and Stand Up Blue Valley and the organization Johnson County Educators were flanked by numerous, sign-carrying representatives of other pro-retention groups in their effort today to remind voters that the court has stood up for public education by upholding the Kansas Constitution.
"We have watched as Governor Brownback and his allies in the legislature complained bitterly about rulings to adequately fund education for nearly 500,000 children in Kansas public schools," said Judith Deedy, Executive Director of Game On. "As parents, we are grateful to have one branch of government that can't be bought or bullied and we will vote YES to retain our justices."
A Johnson County based parent group, Stand Up Blue Valley, reminded voters that the election is just one week from today and they urged voters to go to the polls to vote YES for each justice and judge because it matters for education. "We want justices who will make rulings based on the law, not on politics," said Erica Massman of Stand Up Blue Valley. "This court has protected the constitutional rights of our children to good public schools. Now we must protect the court by voting yes to retain them." See Stand Up Blue Valley Video here.
Susan Fitzgerald of the group Johnson County Educators urged voters to ignore the misleading mailers and robocalls criticizing the courts and focus on the facts. "Teachers have seen the impact of educational funding cuts in the classroom," she said. "Those are facts and the courts are our only line of defense to preserve school funding that is guaranteed by the constitution."
The education advocates emphasized that they want to keep politics out of the courts and maintain a court that has proven it rules fairly and impartially. "We want a Kansas Supreme Court, not a Brownback controlled supreme court," Deedy said.
Members of the Kansas Supreme Court and Kansas Court of Appeals have been targeted for defeat by ultra-conservative groups in Kansas as well as out-of-state special interest groups. In Kansas, judges and justices are prevented from responding to or commenting on issues or cases that may come before them, leaving them unable to respond to these blatantly political attacks.
The education advocates also spoke on behalf of Kansans for Fair Courts. Launched in 2013, Kansans for Fair Courts is a nonpartisan coalition of thousands of Kansans who are working to ensure fair and impartial courts for all Kansans and advocate for the importance of the merit selection system. This year, KFFC is working to defend and retain the members of the Kansas Supreme Court and Kansas Court of Appeals who have been targeted by political groups for defeat.
Kansans for Fair Courts is an initiative of the Kansas Values Institute. For more information, please visit: www.KansansForFairCourts.org.