Other state legislatures also trying to control courts

The change in judicial selection for the Kansas Court of Appeals, effective Monday, is among the evidence cited in an ABA Journal article headlined “Legislators and special interests are making sure we get the state court judges they want.” Author L. Jay Jackson noted that there were more judicial impeachment attempts in 2011 than at any other time in history and that lawmakers have cut court funding and otherwise tried to attack and undermine state judiciaries. “The legislature would very much like legislative supremacy, but our Constitution requires judicial supremacy,” said former American Bar Association president Stephen Zack, in the article. “It’s an inherent conflict that makes our democracy work. Our judiciary tells the legislature when they can’t do what they want to do. As a result (of the conflict) we have legislators, instead of deferring to the judiciary as a co-equal branch of government, treating the judiciary like an agency – as if it were a library or another bridge project – and that’s not what it is.”