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Case Touches on High Court’s Power, Judicial Funding

Associated Press - December 10, 2015 6:15 am

The Kansas Supreme Court says a man serving about 54 years in prison after being convicted in a 1999 rape and robbery case in Lawrence may be entitled to a few more days in court.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court is taking up a case dealing with its administrative power that could jeopardize the judiciary’s entire budget.

The high court hears arguments Thursday on a 2014 law that strips it of its authority to appoint the chief judges in the state’s 31 judicial districts. The law gave the power to local judges.

A Shawnee County judge ruled the law improperly infringed on the administrative power granted to the Supreme Court under the state constitution. The state appealed.

The Republican-controlled Legislature passed a new law earlier this year nullifying the court system’s entire budget through June 2017 if the policy change is struck down.

Chief Justice Lawton Nuss criticized last year’s law on the high court’s behalf and has removed himself from the case.