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Kansas Judge Threatens to Challenge Judicial Funding Bill

Associated Press - July 10, 2015 3:23 pm

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.

A Kansas district court judge says he is prepared to challenge the constitutionality of this year’s judicial budget bill if his lawsuit against last year’s budget bill is successful and lawmakers move to nullify all judicial branch funding.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports lawyers representing 30th Judicial District Chief Judge Larry Solomon filed a brief on Wednesday declaring a “nonseverability” clause added to this year’s funding bill threatens the judiciary’s independence.

Solomon previously filed a suit challenging part of last year’s funding bill that stripped the Kansas Supreme Court of its power to appoint chief judges in local courts.

In response, the Legislature added a clause that says if Solomon wins his case, all funding for the judicial branch for the next two years becomes “null and void.”

Information from: Lawrence Journal-World