Editorial Commentary: Ken Ciboski

Political commentator Ken Ciboski stands just right of center and offers a common-sense view of politics today.

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The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and the Senate Judiciary committee’s refusal to consider an appointment by President Obama to replace him is provoking ongoing debate.

The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has produced a more immediate and intense focus on the idea that elections have consequences. One consequence is the kind of federal judicial appointments a winning candidate for president is likely to make. This is why there is the issue of whether or not President Obama should make an appointment to the Supreme Court or leave it to the winner of the 2016 presidential election. 


Governor Sam Brownback suffered political defeat this past week. The governor wants the power to appoint Supreme Court justices with the approval of the Kansas Senate. The Kansas House of Representatives could muster only 68 of the 84 votes needed for the governor’s proposal to go to the Senate and eventually to the voters of Kansas.

The race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination is creating fears of long-lasting class divisions within the party that may be difficult to heal following the nomination of its presidential candidate.

The Kansas State legislature convened this week. 


A move is on the way to have a “Convention of States” meet to amend our Constitution. Article V of the Constitution states that on the application of the Legislatures of two-thirds of the states, Congress shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments which, if ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states or by Conventions in three fourths of the states, would then become a valid part of our Constitution. Of course, Congress may not honor a request for a Convention.

What is becoming of the middle class in America, and why should we care?

The Pew Research Center’s latest study of data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors confirms that the American middle class is no longer the economic majority, a position it held for more than four decades. 

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett ruled last week that petitioners do not have sufficient legal grounds for a vote to recall County Commission Chairman Richard Ranzau. The petitioners complained about Commissioner Ranzau’s leadership proposing changes to a federal nutritional program, cuts to the county’s health department budget for 2016, and the County Commission’s refusal to accept any federal grant money for funding some public health programs.   

Orlin Wagner/AP

Governor Sam Brownback has worked to have greater control over the process of making public policy since his first election as governor in 2010. He’s proposed that Kansas Supreme Court judges be nominated by the Governor and then approved or disapproved by the state legislature. Critics contend that the Governor desires this change because he is unhappy with judicial rulings that K-12 school funding is not funded adequately by the state legislature.

Carla Eckels / KMUW, File Photo

Senator Bernie Sanders says that the campaign for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination is too personal and that critical economic and foreign policy issues are not being debated.