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Politics, Elections and Government

Kansas High Court Considers Case That May Determine Who Controls Senate

Kansas Supreme Court justices peppered a lawyer representing Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach with tough questions about how the law and the interests of Kansans are served by Kobach’s refusal to allow Democrat Chad Taylor to remove his name from the U.S. Senate ballot. 

Kobach maintains he refused to remove Taylor’s name because Taylor’s notarized letter to Kobach’s office did not expressly state he was “incapable of fulfilling the duties of office if elected,” as Kobach says the relevant law requires.

Taylor left the race and announced he would not serve if elected two weeks ago, clearing the field for a faceoff between Independent Greg Orman and Republican incumbent Pat Roberts. Polls show Orman leading a one-on-one contest.

Justices questioned Kobach’s interpretation of the statute, specifically the part about a candidate having to “declare” they are incapable of serving. They cited instances where the secretary of state has used discretion in interpreting the law and asked for the parameters of that discretion. 

Chief Justice Lawton Nuss asked if citizens who mistakenly cast a ballot for Taylor would not be disenfranchised.  


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