Wichita Eagle: Protect state’s independent judiciary
By Steven C. Day in the Wichita Eagle
Kansas faces an unprecedented threat to the independence and fairness of our court system. Powerful special interests, financed largely through secret contributions, are seeking the removal, in one fell swoop, of a majority of the justices of the Kansas Supreme Court and a number of Court of Appeals judges.
Every voting Kansas member of the American College of Trial Lawyers believes this would be a tragic mistake.
Members of the ACTL are elected by peers based upon at least 15 years of significant litigation experience. We are a diverse group of Kansas lawyers, with members who live and practice law in every part of this state and who have differing political, religious and ideological viewpoints. Yet, despite these differences, we agree as a group that Kansans must resist this political effort to undermine the Kansas judiciary.
There is no mystery about the goals of those financing this attack: They want to remove the judges up for retention so Gov. Sam Brownback can appoint replacements more to their liking. They also want to send a message to every other judge in this state: They better start deciding cases the “right way” or expect to be attacked.