The Kansas House has given first-round approval to a bill that would change how appeals court judges are selected. The bill allows the governor to appoint appellate court judges, who would then be confirmed by the state Senate.
Critics of the current system say it isn't democratic enough, because a nine-person nominating commission selects candidates. Five of the nine are attorneys.
Rep. Lance Kinzer is an Olathe Republican, he says the change would be a step in the right direction.
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Kan. House Advances Change In Judicial Selection Process
The Kansas House has given first-round approval to a bill that changes how appeals court judges are selected. The bill allows the governor to appoint the judges, who would then be confirmed by the state Senate.
A proposal to give Kansas governors and lawmakers more power over appointments to the state's appellate courts cleared a legislative committee Wednesday.
The measure would amend the Kansas Constitution to allow governors to appoint whomever they choose to the state Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, subject to Senate confirmation. It would scrap the statewide, attorney-led commission that now screens applications.
Currently, the commission nominates three finalists for the governor, who then makes the appointment without legislative review.