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Supreme Court Rules Law Limiting its Power Unconstitutional

Associated Press - December 23, 2015 1:28 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.

The Kansas Supreme Court has struck down a law that attempts to curb its administrative power to appoint chief judges and threatened the state judiciary’s entire budget.

The high court ruled on Wednesday that the law changing how chief judges are selected is unconstitutional.

District Judge Larry Solomon of Kingman County challenged the 2014 law, which says judges in the state’s 31 judicial districts pick their chief judges. The law takes that authority away from the Supreme Court.

The justices upheld a Shawnee County district judge ruling in September that the law improperly interfered with Supreme Court’s power granted in the state constitution.

Lawmakers passed another law, now on hold, saying that if the administrative change is overturned, the court system’s budget through June 2017 would be invalidated.