Judicial elections, democratic appointment (e.g., senate confirmation), and the Missouri Plan (a/k/a "merit selection")

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Monday, September 30, 2013

The Bar’s Extraordinarily Powerful Role in Selecting the Kansas Supreme Court


In supreme court selection, the bar has more power in Kansas than in any other state. This extraordinary bar power gives Kansas the most elitist and least democratic supreme court selection system in the country. While members of the Kansas bar make several arguments in defense of the extraordinary powers they exercise under this system, these arguments rest on a one-sided view of the role of a judge.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Selection to the Kansas Supreme Court

 Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy, Vol. 17, p. 368, 2008


Kansas is the only state in the union that gives the members of its bar majority control over the selection of state supreme court justices. The bar consequently may have more control over the judiciary in Kansas than in any other state. This process for selecting justices to the Kansas Supreme Court is described by the organized bar as a "merit," rather than political, process. Other observers, however, emphasize that the process has a political side as well. This paper surveys debate about possible reforms to the Kansas Supreme Court selection process. These reforms would reduce the amount of control exercised by the bar and establish a more public system of checks and balances.