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Kansas Senate Committee Advances Bill Expanding Impeachment Powers

Stephen Koranda
Kansas Public Radio

A Kansas Senate committee has advanced a bill that would expand the grounds for impeaching a state Supreme Court justice.

The bill says justices could be impeached for trying to exercise powers given to the governor or Legislature. Republican Sen. Forrest Knox says checks and balances in government are important.

"We have arrived at a point today in this country, in this state, where specifically Supreme Court justices have become kings, where there is no check," says Knox.

Democratic Sen. David Haley says the real reason behind the bill is simple. He says some Republicans are upset about rulings by the courts on issues like school funding.

"It's just been a continuous attack on an independent branch of our government. The separation of powers is clear, it should remain clear," says Haley.

Republican Sen. Greg Smith says the bill doesn't attack judges. He says it more accurately defines the reasons why a judge might get impeached. The committee approved his amendment, which applies similar grounds for impeachment to other elected officials, including the governor.

As the Kansas News Service managing editor, I help our statewide team of reporters find the important issues and breaking news that impact people statewide. We refine our daily stories to illustrate the issues and events that affect the health, well-being and economic stability of the people of Kansas. Email me at skoranda@kcur.org.
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