Picking judges – Kansas legislators put the “process” of selecting judges for the state’s second highest court almost entirely in the hands of one person: the governor, now Gov. Sam Brownback. Brownback’s office confirmed that it had received “a number of applications” for the newly created 14th position on the Court of Appeals but indicated that neither a list of applicants nor a list of finalists for the job would be released to the public. The only name that apparently will be released is the name of the governor’s choice, which then will be forwarded to the Kansas Senate for almost-certain confirmation. This system is not more democratic, more open or in any way better for the state of Kansas.
While the national Republican Party has recognized that its disenfranchisement of Latino voters might have cost the GOP the presidential election last year, Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran hail from a state where the Hispanic vote isn’t so important. So they opted to side with rabid anti-immigrant Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and his faithful, whose only real objection to Hispanic immigrants is racial in nature.