Laws mets Pass Kansas Courts Budget
January 28, 2016

AP) – Kansas legislators have given final approval to a bill to keep the state’s courts open following a legal dispute involving their budget.
The Senate passed the measure Thursday on a 39-1 vote. The House approved it last week, 119-0, so the bill goes next to Gov. Sam Brownback
The measure repeals a 2015 law threatening the court system’s budget.
That law said the judiciary’s entire budget would be nullified if the courts struck down another law enacted in 2014.
The 2014 law stripped the Kansas Supreme Court of its power to appoint chief judges in the state’s 31 judicial districts and gave it to local judges instead. The high court invalidated the 2014 law last month.
Supporters of the 2014 law said they didn’t intend to close the courts.

Split Contines Between Judges & Topeka
October 9, 2015

(AP) – Four judges challenging the Legislature’s move to defund the state judiciary’s budget are undeterred by a plea from the Kansas attorney general urging restraint.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt said Friday he was grateful the judges voluntarily dismissed on Thursday their case in federal court, an urged them not to file a new lawsuit. A court has already blocked the law until the Legislature reconvenes.

But the attorney representing the judges responded his clients don’t trust the Legislature and still plan to sue in state court over state constitutional issues. He urged Schmidt to file a court brief agreeing the law is unconstitutional.

Legislation passed this year nullifies the judicial branch’s budget if a 2014 law stripping the Kansas Supreme Court of its ability to appoint chief judges is struck down.

Budget Battle Over Kansas Courts Now a Federal Case
October 5, 2015

(AP) – The fight over a move by the Legislature to defund the Kansas judiciary’s budget has now landed in the federal courts.
A court notice shows Kansas has moved the lawsuit filed by four judges to U.S. District Court in Topeka.
The attorney representing the judges said Monday he is confident that whether it is heard in state or federal court the measure defunding the courts would be found unconstitutional. No decision has been made on whether to oppose the venue change.
Legislation passed this year nullifies the judicial branch’s entire budget if a 2014 law stripping the Kansas Supreme Court of its ability to appoint chief judges is struck down.
Kansas contends the lawsuit raises a federal due process claim.
The case is now before U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree.

Kansas Judge Strikes Down PJ Pick Law
September 2, 2015

(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