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Outraged by Kansas Justices’ Rulings, Republicans Seek to Reshape Court

TheDemSocialist

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TOPEKA, Kan. — Washington is locked in partisan warfare over control of the Supreme Court. But it is hardly the only place. Look at the states, where political attacks on judicial decisions are common and well-financed attack ads are starting to jar the once-sleepy elections for State Supreme Court seats.
Nowhere is the battle more fiery than here in Kansas. Gov. Sam Brownback and other conservative Republicans have expressed outrage over State Supreme Court decisions that overturned death penalty verdicts, blocked anti-abortion laws and hampered Mr. Brownback’s efforts to slash taxes and spending, and they are seeking to reshape a body they call unaccountable to the right-tilting public.


At one point, the L egislature threatened to suspend all funding for the courts. The Supreme Court, in turn, ruled in February that the state’s public schools must shut down altogether if poorer districts do not get more money by June 30.


“A political bullying tactic” and “an assault on Kansas families, taxpayers and elected appropriators” is how the president of the Senate, Susan Wagle, a Republican, responded to that ruling, which was based on requirements in the state Constitution. Mr. Brownback spoke darkly of an “activist Kansas Supreme Court.”


In March, in the latest salvo, the Republican-controlled Senate passed a bill to authorize impeachment of justices if their decisions “usurp” the power of other branches. But the climactic battle is expected in the November elections, when conservatives hope to remake the seven-member Supreme Court in a flash, by unseating four justices regarded as moderate or liberal.


Read more @: Outraged by Kansas Justices’ Rulings, Republicans Seek to Reshape Court

State Supreme Court doesnt rule in your way, what do you do? Make it easier to impeach the justices and try to make them up for election. Political bullying and the erosion of separation of powers.
 

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What if...?

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State Supreme Court doesnt rule in your way, what do you do? Make it easier to impeach the justices and try to make them up for election. Political bullying and the erosion of separation of powers. [/FONT][/COLOR]

I guess you could see it that way. Of course, this issue hasn't traditionally be an erosion of separation of powers in this direction. We've been subject much more often to the courts legislating from the bench. If you can get popular support enough via representatives to impeach a judge then you know that the judges have been doing something unacceptable.

The judiciary has stepped over their realm of responsibility for so long that it's time for a culling. Good on Kansas for not just complaining about it but then actually doing something about it as well.
 

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Brownback and State Republicans cannot help themselves but make matters worse.
 

azgreg

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TheDemSocialist

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I guess you could see it that way. Of course, this issue hasn't traditionally be an erosion of separation of powers in this direction. We've been subject much more often to the courts legislating from the bench. If you can get popular support enough via representatives to impeach a judge then you know that the judges have been doing something unacceptable.

The judiciary has stepped over their realm of responsibility for so long that it's time for a culling. Good on Kansas for not just complaining about it but then actually doing something about it as well.

What is "legislating from the bench"? Issuing rules such as the school funding formula found to be unconstitutional on the grounds of inequity?

Can't the justices just rule the impeachment bill unconstitutional?
No
 

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What is "legislating from the bench"? Issuing rules such as the school funding formula found to be unconstitutional on the grounds of inequity?

Legislating from the bench is when judges don't follow their respective constitutions and just rule based on their ideology.
 

TheDemSocialist

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Legislating from the bench is when judges don't follow their respective constitutions and just rule based on their ideology.

Judges in KS arent "following their respective constitutions"?
 

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I guess you could see it that way. Of course, this issue hasn't traditionally be an erosion of separation of powers in this direction. We've been subject much more often to the courts legislating from the bench. If you can get popular support enough via representatives to impeach a judge then you know that the judges have been doing something unacceptable. The judiciary has stepped over their realm of responsibility for so long that it's time for a culling. Good on Kansas for not just complaining about it but then actually doing something about it as well.

And I guess you could see it that way.... however the shrill cry from the radical right has been bogus claims of 'un-elected lawyers' and 'legislating from the bench' are not going to win.

Fact is the Judiciary is installed by the legislature- the judges just don't sneak in one night and don the black robe. Fact is the Judiciary does it's best to remind the radical politicians we do have a Constitution and pretending it doesn't exist when it gets in the way and demanding it be obeyed to the letter when they want to hide behind it is absurd.

In our Republic the 'Will of the People' is tempered with a Constitution. The genius of the Founders was to put an emphasis on the Constitution over populous emotion. Not a perfect system but what is??? Better than mob rule and deciding we don't need to care for ALL citizens- just the ones who vote for us.

A judge doing something 'unacceptable' is far too subjective- a judge doing something unconstitutional or illegal- like say smoking crack and having sex with prostitutes is good grounds for impeachment (and all judges are subject to impeachment- just not retaliation), it does seem politicians can have illegal sex and stay in office (coffvittercoff) so in many ways judges are held to a higher standard than those who whine about legislating from the bench and not being able to do as they please to pander to a base rather than serve all the people.

How much nicer politics would be if gerrymandered districts were dropped and the state is just divided up in nice squares... :peace
 

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And I guess you could see it that way.... however the shrill cry from the radical right has been bogus claims of 'un-elected lawyers' and 'legislating from the bench' are not going to win.

Fact is the Judiciary is installed by the legislature- the judges just don't sneak in one night and don the black robe. Fact is the Judiciary does it's best to remind the radical politicians we do have a Constitution and pretending it doesn't exist when it gets in the way and demanding it be obeyed to the letter when they want to hide behind it is absurd.

In our Republic the 'Will of the People' is tempered with a Constitution. The genius of the Founders was to put an emphasis on the Constitution over populous emotion. Not a perfect system but what is??? Better than mob rule and deciding we don't need to care for ALL citizens- just the ones who vote for us.

A judge doing something 'unacceptable' is far too subjective- a judge doing something unconstitutional or illegal- like say smoking crack and having sex with prostitutes is good grounds for impeachment (and all judges are subject to impeachment- just not retaliation), it does seem politicians can have illegal sex and stay in office (coffvittercoff) so in many ways judges are held to a higher standard than those who whine about legislating from the bench and not being able to do as they please to pander to a base rather than serve all the people.

How much nicer politics would be if gerrymandered districts were dropped and the state is just divided up in nice squares... :peace

The problem is that the why judges have things setup, they literally can't do anything unconstitutional. They can make up whatever reasoning they want, and they do, to justify how it's following the Constitution.

I mean, California even did a constitutional amendment for marriage and that was struck down the the California supreme court. I don't support gay ban legislation but that shouldn't even be able to happen like that.
 

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I guess you could see it that way. Of course, this issue hasn't traditionally be an erosion of separation of powers in this direction. We've been subject much more often to the courts legislating from the bench. If you can get popular support enough via representatives to impeach a judge then you know that the judges have been doing something unacceptable.

The judiciary has stepped over their realm of responsibility for so long that it's time for a culling. Good on Kansas for not just complaining about it but then actually doing something about it as well.
Huh?

Firstly, it *is* the Court's job to rule on the Constitutionality of any legislation enacted!

Secondly, popularity has nothing to do with Constitutionality, and the Court's job is to evaluate Constitutionality NOT popularity!

It's this type of thinking that has eroded our Constitutional rights beyond belief. Reference the NSA & WoD, both of which were fostered upon us by the GOP stoking fears throughout the citizenry to elicit popular support for dreadful rights-eroding legislation.

Only the Court stands between our rights as enumerated by our founders, and the ever present 'tyranny of the majority' which forces it's insidious will through the legislative branches.
 

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I guess you could see it that way. Of course, this issue hasn't traditionally be an erosion of separation of powers in this direction. We've been subject much more often to the courts legislating from the bench. If you can get popular support enough via representatives to impeach a judge then you know that the judges have been doing something unacceptable.

The judiciary has stepped over their realm of responsibility for so long that it's time for a culling. Good on Kansas for not just complaining about it but then actually doing something about it as well.

WHAT ?!?!?

Do you have ANY idea what legislating means ??
 

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And I guess you could see it that way.... however the shrill cry from the radical right has been bogus claims of 'un-elected lawyers' and 'legislating from the bench' are not going to win.

Fact is the Judiciary is installed by the legislature- the judges just don't sneak in one night and don the black robe. Fact is the Judiciary does it's best to remind the radical politicians we do have a Constitution and pretending it doesn't exist when it gets in the way and demanding it be obeyed to the letter when they want to hide behind it is absurd.

In our Republic the 'Will of the People' is tempered with a Constitution. The genius of the Founders was to put an emphasis on the Constitution over populous emotion. Not a perfect system but what is??? Better than mob rule and deciding we don't need to care for ALL citizens- just the ones who vote for us.

A judge doing something 'unacceptable' is far too subjective- a judge doing something unconstitutional or illegal- like say smoking crack and having sex with prostitutes is good grounds for impeachment (and all judges are subject to impeachment- just not retaliation), it does seem politicians can have illegal sex and stay in office (coffvittercoff) so in many ways judges are held to a higher standard than those who whine about legislating from the bench and not being able to do as they please to pander to a base rather than serve all the people.

How much nicer politics would be if gerrymandered districts were dropped and the state is just divided up in nice squares... :peace
Great post!

To the bolded:

Exactly!

The legislature represents the people, the Court represents the Constitution.

The people can't go against the Constitution, no matter how large the quorum.
 

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Brownback is a one man cluster****.

Brownback is going to end up in the history books for the State, the man so determined to quadruple down (or worse) on trickle down economics that he is also willing to engage in a form of fascism as a means to silence opposition in the courts.

The fiscal condition of Kansas is disastrous and getting worse, basic services are looking at cuts, the solutions for the problems that State Republicans have caused in the first place disproportionately go after the lower income levels, and now they need to literally remove (or at least throttle) perceived opposition in the courts for this and several other reasons.

Kansas will end up joining Louisiana (and potentially others) as ways to *not* run a State.
 

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Sounds like what happened in Hungary not long ago.... typical right wing fascist behaviour.

FDR did try it with SCOTUS. Did not work out well.
 

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Yes. Courts should not be "managed" to give a specific outcome regardless of who is in power.

Look at Poland, ignoring and rewriting Laws, ref their Supreme Court.
 

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Read more @: Outraged by Kansas Justices’ Rulings, Republicans Seek to Reshape Court

State Supreme Court doesnt rule in your way, what do you do? Make it easier to impeach the justices and try to make them up for election. Political bullying and the erosion of separation of powers. [/FONT][/COLOR]

Really all you have to do is threaten the court to start increasing the number of seats on the SC and fill them with justices that will pass your legislation. Then they do what you want, FDR taught us that.
 

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Huh?

Firstly, it *is* the Court's job to rule on the Constitutionality of any legislation enacted!

Secondly, popularity has nothing to do with Constitutionality, and the Court's job is to evaluate Constitutionality NOT popularity!

It's this type of thinking that has eroded our Constitutional rights beyond belief. Reference the NSA & WoD, both of which were fostered upon us by the GOP stoking fears throughout the citizenry to elicit popular support for dreadful rights-eroding legislation.

Only the Court stands between our rights as enumerated by our founders, and the ever present 'tyranny of the majority' which forces it's insidious will through the legislative branches.

Yes, it's just "teh right". I mean, it's not like the left doesn't struggle with the concept of "shall not be infringed".
 

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WHAT ?!?!?

Do you have ANY idea what legislating means ??

Of course I do, and when the judiciary starts with an ideological end-point, then work backwards from that end-point to bend the words of whatever they are looking at to mean what they want it, they are in fact, creating law.

I've even read people making statements here saying that judges shouldn't try to follow the original intent of the founding fathers.
 

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Of course I do, and when the judiciary starts with an ideological end-point, then work backwards from that end-point to bend the words of whatever they are looking at to mean what they want it, they are in fact, creating law.

I've even read people making statements here saying that judges shouldn't try to follow the original intent of the founding fathers.

What ?!?

They cannot make law, they can only strike down laws. Do you not understand how that is distinct independent of their reasoning ?
 
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