Sunday, January 27, 2013
Conservative Republican legislators are pushing aggressively for an overhaul of how Kansas fills vacancies on its two highest courts. But they face significant obstacles in getting a proposed amendment to the state constitution on the ballot.
For now, the GOP right's favored proposal is having the governor appoint whomever he pleases, subject to Senate confirmation. Both the House and Senate Judiciary committees have endorsed the change. Their separate measures would end the practice of having the nominating commission pick three finalists and requiring the governor to pick one, with no role for legislators.
Republicans have supermajorities in both chambers, and conservatives are in charge. In the 40-member Senate, conservatives hold 27 seats, the two-thirds majority to approve a constitutional amendment. In the 125-member House, the picture is cloudier.