JAS: Kansas Judicial Impeachment Bill ‘An Affront to Democracy’

The Kansas Senate has tentatively advanced a bill allowing for the impeachment of state Supreme Court justices if they attempt to usurp the legislature’s authority. Justice at Stake called the bill “an affront to democracy.”

“This bill is an affront to democracy and should be offensive to every Kansan. It is nothing more than a transparent effort by legislators to punish the Kansas Supreme Court for daring to do its job,” said JAS Executive Director Susan Liss in a statement. “Could this be any more self-serving? Legislators want to give themselves nearly limitless power under the Kansas Constitution so they can remove justices for any court ruling they don’t like.”

“Like earlier iterations of this bill, the latest version is clearly unconstitutional. We remain deeply concerned about these repeated efforts to undermine the constitutional authority of the Kansas court system.”

The Associated Press reported that a voice vote in the Senate on Monday gave a first round of approval to the bill, “the latest initiative from GOP conservatives in recent years putting Kansas at the center of a national effort to remake state courts.” A final Senate vote was expected Tuesday. If it wins final Senate passage, the bill would next require approval in the House. To learn background about the bill, see Gavel Grab.