Kansas House rejects change in selecting high court justices
TOPEKA — The Kansas House has rejected a proposal to give the governor and legislators more control over appointments to the state Supreme Court.
The vote Thursday on a proposed amendment to the state constitution was 68-54. But supporters were 16 votes short of the two-thirds majority of 84 needed for passage in the 125-member chamber.
The measure would allow the governor to nominate new justices while requiring the state Senate to approve the appointments.
Currently, a nominating commission led by attorneys screens applicants for the court and names three finalists. The governor must appoint one, and legislators have no role.
Gov. Sam Brownback and other GOP conservatives argue that the process isn't democratic. But supporters of the current system accuse him and his allies of trying to control the state's courts.