Kansas AG: Debate over courts to go on until voters step in

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt. ( File - AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Attorney General Derek Schmidt says questions about how Kansas Supreme Court justices are chosen will remain until the state’s voters decide the issue.

The Republican attorney general spoke Tuesday to a caucus of GOP Kansas House members. The chamber’s Republican leaders are trying to build support for changing the process for selecting justices.

Conservative Republicans argue that the current system is undemocratic. But changing it requires voters to approve an amendment to the state constitution.

A nominating commission led by attorneys screens applicants for Supreme Court vacancies and names three finalists. The governor must pick one, and legislators have no role.

Supporters of the current system contend it minimizes partisan politics in the selection process. They contend conservative GOP Gov. Sam Brownback and his allies want to control the courts.


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