Opinion Columns & Blogs

Chief justice tries positive, informational approach

Last week’s State of the Judiciary address by Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton Nuss was informational in tone, in striking contrast to the ongoing tension between the Kansas courts and the two other branches of state government over school finance, the death penalty, judicial selection and other issues. Speaking to about 170 people in the Supreme Court chambers, Nuss highlighted court employees and their roles (including Bernie Lumbreras, chief clerk of Sedgwick County District Court) and how courts protect and serve Kansans. Afterward he told reporters the change was deliberate: “I was afraid I was turning into a whiner and a complainer. I decided instead of that approach, we’ll try the other one.” But Nuss still needs the Legislature to enable him to use $3 million earmarked for a statewide e-filing system to avoid furloughs and closed courts this fiscal year. – Rhonda Holman