Kansas Judge Strikes Down PJ Pick Law

(AP) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says a judge’s ruling striking down an administrative policy for the state’s courts could jeopardize their funding.

But Schmidt said Wednesday that he’ll move to keep the courts open.

Shawnee County District Judge Larry Hendricks ruled unconstitutional a law changing how chief judges for the trial courts pick judges in the state’s 31 judicial districts. Hendricks said the law interferes with the Kansas Supreme Court’s power to oversee the judiciary.

Lawmakers earlier this year tied the judiciary’s entire budget to preserving the policy.

The law says judges in each judicial district pick their chief judges, taking that power from the Supreme Court.

District Judge Larry Solomon of Kingman County challenged the statute. Attorney Pedro Irigonegaray said another lawsuit would be filed to protect funding for the courts

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