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Crime and Courts

Legal Wrangling Continues In Battle Over Kansas Court Funding

Stephen Koranda, File Photo
Kansas Public Radio

A Kansas judge has issued an order that temporarily keeps Kansas court funding in place, but not everyone is satisfied.

Two laws are at the heart of the dispute: One law changes how chief judges are selected in district courts, while a second law says the judicial branch will lose all of its funding if the first law is struck down. It was struck down, but Attorney General Derek Schmidt obtained a court order to keep judicial funding in place until lawmakers are back in session next year.

Some legislators say their intent was not to eliminate judicial funding, but to revisit the court’s budget if the judicial selection law was struck down. Pedro Irigonegaray is one of the attorneys suing the state over the issue.

“I frankly, at this point in time, am not convinced that the Legislature is going to return in 2016 and correct this problem,” Irigonegaray says.

His lawsuit argues that the new laws concerning the judicial branch violate the Kansas Constitution.