Judicial selection constitutional amendment. We understand that HCR5005 will be debated in the House on Thursday and moved to final action on Friday. This is the constitutional amendment to do away with merit selection of our Supreme Court justices. The proposed new system is for the governor to simply appoint the justices and the appointees to be confirmed by the Senate. This is known as the federal model.
The current system is called “merit selection” and has served Kansas well for decades. It was adopted as a result of public outrage over the famed “triple play” when an outgoing governor resigned, had his lieutenant governor become governor and appoint the outgoing governor to the Kansas Supreme Court for life. Pure politics. The merit selection system allows a committee of nine to interview and select three qualified nominees to submit to the governor for his final selection. The committee contains four members appointed by the governor and five members elected by all the lawyers in the state. Critics have said that this allows too much undemocratic influence by lawyers. Contrary to the critics, the system has worked well and we have a well qualified court because of the merit process. The proposed system would return to pure political appointments.
Your action is needed now. If the judiciary is removed from the checks and balances of our form of government, citizens will have no place to turn when the other branches of government overreach. If the judiciary falls, then the Education Article is next. It is extremely important that you contact your House members now.