Thinking About Court Governance and Kansas

In her paper, Governance: The Final Frontier, Mary McQueen writes:

This paper suggests that court leaders and their allies may have based reform efforts on incompatible organizational models, which has hindered progress in improving court governance.  Too much attention and energy has been focused on finding ways to emulate in the court environment what appears to work in administering or governing executive branch agencies and private businesses.  This paper argues that court leaders should instead consider what is called a “loosely coupled organization” model for governing courts and look to the processes and mechanisms that the leaders of those organizations use to achieve effective governance.


So, just how loosely coupled should Kansas courts be? Can they be loosely coupled and simultaneously unified?  Recently, the chief judge for the Thirtieth Judicial District in Kansas, Larry T. Solomon, filed suit against the state, arguing that a new law that strips the Kansas Supreme Court of its power to administer the district courts is unconstitutional.

“The people of Kansas ratified an amendment to the Constitution that says the state judiciary would be administered by a unified judicial system,” Matthew Menendez told the Lawrence Journal World. “This law flies in the face of that amendment and could delay justice for all Kansans.” Judge Solomon is represented by the Irigonegaray & Associates, Kaye Scholer LLP, and the Brennan Center for Justice.


Read more in The Wichita Eagle.

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