Kobach Says State Judges Are Not as Competent as Federal Judges

(AP)–Secretary of State Kris Kobach says Kansas Supreme Court decisions in school funding and death penalty cases show the justices aren’t as competent as federal judges.

Kobach was among the witnesses testifying Thursday during a House Judiciary Committee hearing in favor of changing how state Supreme Court justices are chosen.

He says the state’s current system has produced what he called “mediocre results.” Kobach said he believes federal judges are better qualified for their jobs.

Defenders of the current system say it’s worked well for decades.

An attorney-led nominating commission currently screens applicants for Kansas Supreme Court vacancies and picks three finalists for each. The governor picks one of the finalists, with no role for legislators.

Kobach favors having the governor appoint justices directly, subject to Senate confirmation.

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