The Federalist Society

Selection to the Kansas Supreme Court

November 26, 2007

Stephen J. Ware

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.

Related Links

"Bar Has Too Much Power in Picking State's Justices" by Stephen J. Ware, The Wichita Eagle, November 29, 2007 (PDF)
"Professor Questions Judge Selection" by Stephen J. Ware, The Lawrence Journal-World, December 8, 2007 (PDF)
"Open up Process of Picking Justices" by Stephen J. Ware, The Wichita Eagle, January 23, 2009 (PDF)
"Process for Selecting Judges is Undemocratic" by Stephen J. Ware, The Wichita Eagle, August 22, 2010 (PDF)
"Disorder in the Court" by Stephen J. Ware, The Topeka Capital-Journal, March 18, 2011 (PDF)
"The Bar’s Extraordinarily Powerful Role in Selecting the Kansas Supreme Court" by Stephen J. Ware, Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy, Vol. 18, No. 3, 2009
"State's Judge Selection Undemocratic" by Stephen J. Ware, LJWorld.com, November 29, 2012 (PDF)

Selection to the Kansas Supreme Court  


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