New plan for Kansas judiciary emerges

Old Kansas Statehouse

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – An influential Kansas legislator is outlining a new proposal for having the state’s appellate judges confirmed by the state Senate.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Jeff King said Monday the proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution would retain a commission that screens applicants for the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. But the Senate would vote on the governor’s appointees.

King, an Independence Republican, provided details of the proposal exclusively to The Associated Press a day before the Legislature’s staff was to have the measure drafted.

Currently, the nominating commission names three finalists for seats on the appellate courts and the governor appoints one, with role for the Legislature.

Any amendment to the Kansas Constitution must be approved in a statewide vote.

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