Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a bill Wednesday that changes the way some judges in Kansas are selected. Under the new system, the governor will select candidates for the state appeals courts. The nominees will then need to be approved by the Senate.
The current system involves a nominating commission that selects candidates. The governor then chooses from those candidates. Brownback says the current system gives too much power to attorneys, who hold five of the nine seats on the commission.
“Kansas is the only state in America that allows a special interest group to control the process of choosing who will be the judges for all of us,” says Brownback.
The top Democrat in the House, Paul Davis from Lawrence, says the change will introduce politics into the selection process for appellate court judges.
Brownback is also pushing a similar change to the selection system for Kansas Supreme Court justices. But Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce says it may be too late in the legislative session to advance plans to revamp the selection process for Supreme Court justices.