Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Kansas Supreme Court Justices survived November challenge

For 2306's look at judicial elections. A coordinated effort to remove the justices due to political opposition to their recent decisions about the death penalty, abortion and school funding has raised concerns about the ability of the courts to remain above politics.

- Click here for the article.

After roughly a million dollars in TV and radio ads plus a blizzard of postcards, the Kansas Supreme Court didn't change one bit with Tuesday's elections.

With a majority of precincts reporting, all four of the justices who had been targeted by the Republican Party, Kansans for Life and other conservative groups comfortably won retention.

“Kansans have sent a very clear message, not just to the special interest groups that Gov. Brownback has funded but to the governor himself: hands off our court,” says Ryan Wright from Kansans for Fair Courts, the organization that raised at least $400,000 to help keep the justices on the bench.

Retained were Chief Justice Lawton Nuss, Justice Dan Biles, Justice Carol Beier, Justice Marla Luckert and Justice Caleb Stegall.

No one targeted Stegall for ouster, the only justice on the high court appointed by Gov. Sam Brownback.

For a broader look at efforts to politicize state courts, look here: State Judicial Elections Become Political Battlegrounds.

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