Kansas Supreme Court Issues Ruling on Separation of Powers

The Kansas Supreme Court recently struck down a section of state law that took away the court’s authority to appoint chief judges in the state’s 31 judicial districts in a case that could threaten court funding.

The court said the section violates a provision of the state constitution giving the state supreme court general administrative authority over the state’s courts, reported the Kansas City Star, the Topeka Capital-Journal and the Lawrence Journal-World. The law had switched power to appoint the chief judges from the state supreme court to the judges in each district.

The court also found a violation of the separation of powers doctrine.

The decision “may bring the state closer to a crisis over court funding,” according to the Capital-Journal. A nonseverability clause in the 2014 law says a decision striking down any provision of the law would invalidate the entire law, including, apparently, provisions for state funding of the judiciary.


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