Thursday, August 5

Kansas judicial selection is undemocratic

Stephen J. Ware in Lawrence Journal-World:

In a democracy like ours, should lawmakers be selected democratically? Not according to the Journal-World (“Court, politics,” Nov. 23), which wants some of our state’s most important lawmakers selected in a deeply undemocratic process that makes the votes of some residents count far more than the votes of others.

The lawmakers in question are our state’s appellate court judges.

Judges are lawmakers? Yes. …

In short, the appellate judges of Kansas, like those of other states, are tremendously important lawmakers. What is unusual about the lawmaking judges of Kansas is how they are selected. None of the other 49 states uses the system Kansas uses to pick its two appellate courts. And for good reason, because the Kansas system is a shockingly undemocratic way to select lawmakers.

More from Ware at Opinion: State’s judge selection undemocratic. Also see Kansas lawmakers, including judges, should be selected democratically.