Repeal one-judge law or pay for 22 more judges

If legislators really want the state to operate more efficiently, they should heed the call of Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton Nuss (in photo) to repeal a state law requiring at least one judge be located in each of the state’s 105 counties. The 30-year-old statute has resulted in a misallocation of resources, with judges in populous counties such as Sedgwick having more cases then they can handle, while judges in some sparsely populated counties have little to do. Repealing the statute would “allow the court to apply sound principles of business management – to run the judicial branch of government more efficiently and effectively, and better meet the justice needs of Kansas citizens,” Nuss said in the State of the Judiciary report he submitted last week. If the Legislature doesn’t repeal the law, Nuss said, it needs to provide funding for 22 new district judge positions.