In repeat of 2011, Kansas House may wind up targeting merit selection for Court of Appeals only; effort to end Supreme Court merit selection may not have the votes

I’ve mentioned in the past the dichotomy in Kansas with appellate judicial selection: the merit selection system in place for the Supreme Court is in the constitution while the merit selection system in place for the Court of Appeals is only in statute. In 2011 and 2012, when they had a majority but not the supermajority needed for a constitutional amendment, this meant Kansas House Republicans targeted only the Court of Appeals, including tacking the plan onto unrelated bills just to get it passed (see here, here, and here).

It appears, however, even with a supermajority in 2013 they don’t have the votes to end merit selection for the Supreme Court.

TheĀ  House Judiciary Committee yesterday approved on a tight 12-11 vote a plan (HB 2019) to end merit selection and put a quasi-federal system in place for the Court of Appeals only. The House Judiciary Committee had approved a constitutional amendment that would have ended merit selection in favor of a quasi-federal system for the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals (HCR 5002) in January, and the full Senate approved an almost identical bill in January as well (SCR 1601).

But media reports indicate that House GOP does not have have the 2/3rds vote needed for either HCR 5002 or SCR 1601.

h/t to Gavel Grab for the pointers