A bill that will make the Kansas Supreme Court Nominating Commission subject to the state’s open records and meetings laws has been signed by Gov. Sam Brownback. This new law should fix one of the Kansas Supreme Court selection system's major problems, hiding the votes of the commission, as hopefully the commission and courts will interpret this law to require the commission's votes be public records.
The other major problem with the Kansas Supreme Court selection system, the undemocratic selection of the commission, remains. Several members of the commission are selected in elections open only to members of the bar. However, secrecy in these elections has also been reduced by the recent bill, as it requires the clerk of the Kansas Supreme Court to
submit a list of the lawyers eligible to vote to the Kansas Secretary of
State’s Office ahead of these elections.
Finally, the bill requires the governor to
disclose applicants for the Court of Appeals, the Wichita Eagle explains.