Opinion Columns & Blogs

Law weakening high court merits challenge

The Kansas Constitution clearly says that “the Supreme Court shall have general administrative authority over all courts in this state,” ensuring a unified and efficiently managed court system. So how could the governor and 2014 Legislature take away the high court’s power to control budgets and pick chief administrative district judges? That’s a serious question, and the needed first step to answering it came Wednesday when Judge Larry Solomon, chief judge of the 30th Judicial District, filed a lawsuit contending the new law violates the separation of powers. Was the law a modest change favoring local control, as proponents argued? Or a punitive measure expressing the executive and legislative branches’ disapproval of the Supreme Court and Chief Justice Lawton Nuss? Either way, if it’s unconstitutional the Legislature shouldn’t have passed it and the governor shouldn’t have signed it. – Rhonda Holman