by Allen Williams
If you have ever lived in Kansas then you know that the state's judiciary gains bench positions by appointment NOT election. "These efforts succeeded in 1958, when Kansas voters approved a constitutional amendment authorizing merit selection of supreme court justices. The amendment's success can be attributed to the intensive lobbying efforts of the Kansas Bar Association and the political scandal aptly titled the "triple play of 1956," in which the governor and chief justice resigned their positions with the understanding that the lieutenant governor--who would become the governor--would appoint the former governor as chief justice. "
"The current procedure for filling a
Supreme Court judgeship is very simple. A panel of lawyers [and non-lawyers] creates a list of
fellow lawyers as candidates. That list is submitted to the governor and who
appoints someone from that list. There is no vote. There is no confirmation
process. There is no investigation or approval of any kind. The result of the
current process is a judiciary run amuck. A prime example is the Kansas Supreme
Court. In the last session of the legislature, judges were caught discussing
legislation with senate members and ethics complaints were lodged (they are
still pending). That same court
has, in direct violation of the Kansas Constitution, ordered increases in school
spending, a function reserved to the legislature. By its illegal actions, the
court has effected increases that will force each man, woman, and child in the
State of Kansas to pay an extra $400 per year in taxes
by the year 2009." It's a nice little monopoly where, as KU law professor Stephen Ware, has noted some 10,000 people control 2.8 million.
In 2005 a petition was circulated by Wayne Flaherty and Judicial Watch for a constitutional amendment to change the judicial selection system to popular election. The state legislature failed to pass the amendment. The same year Topeka judge Terry Bullock ordered an increase of One Billion dollars for K-12 education in schools. This ruling violated the separation of powers via legislating from the bench. However, it was Kansas Supreme Court Justice Lawton Nuss who dictated the monetary amount in the Montoy decision to the state legislature that forever transferred spending authority from the Kansas Legislature to the Kansas Supreme Court.
In past years a number of attempts have been made to return judicial selection to popular election but the proposals were always beaten back by the public education system and its many supporters who obviously profit from the corruption of the current system. Finally in 2013, then Governor Sam Brownback replaced merit selection for appeals court judges with gubenatorial appointment and Senate confirmation as in the case of federal judges. A Kansas constitutional amendment to move the state judiciary to the federal model failed during Brownbacks tenure as governor. And in 2015, incredibly the Kansas Supreme Court, found that the state legislature's attempt to defund the court was unconstitutional. This decision has denied the people of Kansas the right of self government and established the Kansas Supreme Court as a ruling olighargy
The Kansas Court system is a corruption cesspoll and it hasn't disappointed.
Alan Rupe and his legal team have carved out a sweet niche suing the state legislature through the years to force higher taxes for education. Due to the obscure wording in the Kansas Constitution requiring a 'suitable education'. Many attempts have been made in the past to formulate a 'funding formula' for 309 Kansas school districts.
That's an awfully large number of school districts for such a small state you might think. Well, yes but absolutely essential to keep the for profit school indoctrination system rolling. And public money makes the Kansas education system the largest PAC-lobby in the state.
Here's how the school funding merri-go-round works:
(1) The state legislature develops a school funding formula which is always 'unfair' to some particular school district and in some cases nearly all by agreement. Greed dictates the relative 'degree of unfairness', etc. (2) Rupe and his team go to court, finding a synpathetic judge isn't difficult because the lawyers control the judicial selection process. (3) The lawyers argue that the funding formula distributions aren't equitable or isn't weighted properly or the current formula simply fails to provide a 'suitable education' (Doesn't spend enough money) (4) The court agrees. Legal appeals are made and eventually the Kansas Supreme Court affirms the lower court ruling for a fixed sum of money to finance education.(5) Go immediately back to (1) and begin the process anew.