Did Kansas Senator threaten funding for courts if judges didn’t accept change to merit selection? Similar efforts occurred in FL in 2011.

I’ve mentioned over the last two years the numerous efforts by Kansas Republicans to change the merit selection system used for the state’s appellate courts. Efforts to change it by statute for the Court of Appeals was approved earlier this year, but GOP members have not gotten the 2/3rds of the House needed to change it for the Supreme Court.

Now comes word from the state’s Chief Justice that the Senate Judiciary chair and prime sponsor of the change away from merit selection attempted to link court funding to the changes (h/t to Gavel Grab for the pointer). A Topeka Capital Journal article details the accusation and denials.

If the Kansas Senate did attempt to link changes to judicial selection with court funding, it would not be the first time. When Florida attempted to change not only merit selection but the structure of the supreme court itself (splitting it into two courts) those seeking to end merit selection was tied with a constitutionally guaranteed 2.25% appropriation of general revenue funds.

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