- Associated Press - Friday, November 27, 2015

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A new law changing how judges are selected in Kansas is unconstitutional, according to recent court filings by attorneys for a Kansas judge contesting the law.

District Judge Larry Solomon of Kingman County has been challenging the 2014 law, which says judges in the state’s 31 judicial districts pick their chief judges. The law takes the authority of choosing chief judges away from the Kansas Supreme Court.

The state contends the law is a proper exercise of legislative authority.

A Shawnee County district judge struck down the law in September. But that ruling was appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court, which prompted the court filings from both sides in the case on Wednesday, The Topeka Capital Journal reported (https://bit.ly/1PRXCHm ).

Attorneys for Solomon, who has been the chief judge in the 30th District of south-central Kansas since 1991, argue in the new court filings that the legislation is “unconstitutional as a violation of the separation-of-powers doctrine by significantly interfering with this Court’s constitutional authority to administer Kansas’ unified court system.”

Solomon’s lawyers also want the Kansas Supreme Court to invalidate the law.

The state says in its brief that the law is “a proper exercise of longstanding legislative authority to regulate the selection of ‘officers’ under (the Kansas Constitution); the law does not unconstitutionally infringe on the Kansas Supreme Court’s general administrative authority,” under the constitution.


Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, https://www.cjonline.com

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