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House rejects giving governor more say in judicial selection

Associated Press - April 30, 2016 7:59 pm

The Kansas Supreme Court will hear arguments in a lawsuit involving a southeast Kansas casino in January.

The Kansas House has rejected a proposal that would have given the governor a bigger voice in who is nominated for the Kansas Supreme Court, following outcries from some lawyers who said it would have damaged the separation of powers between the branches of government.

The House voted 57-56 against the proposal Saturday.

The state’s high court judges are chosen by a commission consisting of five attorneys elected by other lawyers and four members selected by the governor.

Currently the chief justice appoints the replacements for the chairperson or lawyers who resign before their terms are up.  The bill would have allowed the governor to appoint the replacements instead.

The failed move comes amid discontent from conservatives over court rulings against the state on school funding and death penalty verdicts.