The potential harm from a Kansas bill expanding the legal grounds for impeachment of state Supreme Court justices is taken to a Code Red alert by author Davis Merritt in a Wichita Eagle blog.
“SB 439 is designed to destroy the concept of co-equal and independent legislative, executive and judicial branches that is so vital to everyone’s liberty,” Merritt writes. Borrowing from constitutional scholar Alan Hirsch about impeachment, Merritt continues, “Under it, justices would serve at the pleasure of the legislators rather than as independent adjudicators. And when that happens, we will have reached Hirsch’s ‘triumph of power politics and partisanship over democracy.’”
The bill’s expanded grounds for impeachment include any attempt to usurp the authority of the legislative or executive branches. The House-passed bill awaits action in the Senate once the legislature returns to work on April 27 after a recess. Merritt concludes with the following warning:
“The fact that some people are upset by some court rulings cannot possibly justify destroying the very basis of democracy and individual liberties.”