Kansas Threatens Judicial Independence

I missed this interesting article in the New York Times last week about an ongoing battle between Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and the state judiciary.  Brownback recently signed a bill that “stipulates that if a state court strikes down a 2014 law that removed some powers from the State Supreme Court, the judiciary will lose its funding.”

According to the NY Times:

The 2014 law took the authority to appoint chief judges for the district courts away from the Supreme Court and gave it to the district courts themselves. It also deprived the state’s highest court of the right to set district court budgets. Critics said the law was an attempt by Mr. Brownback, a Republican, to stack the district courts with judges who may be more favorable to his policies.

That is a pretty clear threat to judicial independence. “Hey judges, vote the way I want you to or I’ll strip your entire branch of funding.”

For more on this outrageous threat to judicial independence, read this post over at Balkinization.

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