Opinion Columns & Blogs

Separation of powers wins again at state Supreme Court

Impatience with the pace of the Kansas Supreme Court, while understandable, should not have led to a law setting a 180-day deadline for state court decisions. That was the welcome message the justices sent Friday in an order affirming their July 1 order striking down the time limit, which had been unconstitutionally imposed on the appellate courts by the 2014 Legislature and Gov. Sam Brownback. Attorney General Derek Schmidt had asked the court to reconsider its earlier order, which stemmed from the case of a convicted sex offender in Mitchell County. In the July 1 order, the court said: “We recognize and echo the statute’s spirit, which aims to promote prompt judicial decisions,” but the section of the law in question “violates the separation of powers doctrine embedded in the Kansas Constitution.” – Rhonda Holman