ACLU

Michael Coghlan / flickr Creative Commons

BELLE PLAINE — A Kansas court has thrown out a lawsuit filed by a civil rights rights group seeking the immediate release of prisoners who have preexisting medical conditions that make them vulnerable to the new coronavirus.

LAWRENCE, Kansas — As coronavirus cases have climbed above 100 in state prisons, the Kansas Department of Corrections is enmeshed in a legal battle that could result in thousands of inmates being released.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas sued the agency and three state prisons on April 9, asking the state to release people who have been convicted of minor crimes, have less than 18 months left on their sentences or are vulnerable due to age or medical conditions.

LAWRENCE, Kansas — The American Civil Liberties Union filed a class-action lawsuit Thursday calling for the Kansas Supreme Court to order the release of state prisoners whose lives it contends stand at special risk from the coronavirus.

The lawsuit asks the court to release people incarcerated for minor crimes, within 18 months of release, or who have medical conditions that would make them especially vulnerable to the virus.

Becky McCray / flickr Creative Commons

The Interstate Crosscheck system, a controversial voter registration tracking program championed by former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, was labeled effectively “dead” after a legal agreement was announced Tuesday.  

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

Wichita — Cindy Hoedel and Scott Yeargain, who live in or near the Kansas Flint Hills, began looking into oil and gas operations near their homes as early as 2016.

The two, separately, worried about earthquakes and water quality issues that new wastewater injection wells would create.

Hoedel documented a few dozen instances where injection well permit applications didn’t follow Kansas Corporation Commission guidelines. That led to a KCC report identifying more than 1,000 similar cases.

Bills on drug sentencing, probation and marijuana possession stalled in the Kansas Legislature this year. Instead, lawmakers continue to consider appointing a task force to address the criminal justice system as a whole.

A few days before the November midterm election, Alejandro Rangel-Lopez turned 18.

But before he cast that first ballot, local election officials moved Dodge City’s only polling location from the relatively convenient center town to its outskirts.

The move caused confusion, drew national criticism and raised questions about voting access governed by white elected officials in a town where nearly two-thirds of the population is Latino.

Millions of dollars have been spent on the governor's race in Kansas. Money has poured in from all over the country.

But a new player has entered the fray — the American Civil Liberties Union.

An ACLU TV spot went up on cable and broadcast this week. Titled "The Rule of Law," it starts out like any other opposition ad.

Local organizers in Dodge City fought for more, and more accessible, polling places even before their lone, out-of-the-way voting location drew national attention.

On Friday, the American Civil Liberties Union sued County Clerk Debbie Cox.

Come in and sit down at Anita Parsa’s kitchen table. Help yourself to the chocolate chip cookies and she’ll get you an iced tea. Might as well make yourself comfortable.

Because for the next hour, she’s going to school you on a massive voter-tracking program run by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.  

“I like to figure out puzzles,” Parsa says. “I like to crack things, and that’s what this is all about.”

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