Kansas: changes to selection of Supreme Court out of committee, but may not have 2/3rds needed

Two bills to change the way the justices of the Kansas Supreme Court are selected made their way out of a House committee Monday, but it is not clear if they will have the 2/3rds necessary of the full House to make it onto the ballot.

Currently Kansas uses a commission based or “merit” selection system (detailed here). HCR 5004 would replace this system with one of partisan elections. HCR 5005 would move towards a quasi-federal model (Governor selects without commission list, Senate confirms, yes/no retention elections). Both came out of the House Judiciary Committee on 13-9 votes.

The question now is whether any of these will make it out of the full House, where a 2/3rds majority would be required. The same inability to get a 2/3rds vote is what blocked similar efforts in 2013, including one that would have moved to a quasi-federal model (SCR 1601 of 2013) that had been approved by the Senate.