Topeka Capital-Journal Editorial: Kansans must retain Supreme Court justices
By The Capital-Journal Editorial Board
The Kansas Supreme Court has been insulted and undermined by the other two branches of our state government for too long.
Gov. Sam Brownback called the Supreme Court “activist,” “unaccountable” and “opaque” after it ordered the state to equitably fund Kansas schools in February. Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, accused the court of “interjecting itself in legislative proceedings” and holding “Kansas school children hostage” with its decision. Sen. Jeff Melcher, R-Leawood, called the court’s 77-page ruling a “temper tantrum.”
This rhetoric is a transparent ploy to dissolve public trust in the most popular branch of government in Kansas, and it must come to an end.
For the governor and members of the Legislature to prove allegations of judicial activism, they would have to demonstrate how the Supreme Court’s school finance decision was an inadequate interpretation of the law. Instead of doing this, they concocted a spurious narrative about their desire to keep schools open and protect children from the court’s “bullying.” In reality, this was a politicized attempt to smear justices with whom legislators and the governor don’t agree.