WICHITA, Kan. (CN) – Four people claim the Kansas Constitution denies citizens the right to participate in selecting judges. They want citizens – not just members of the Kansas Bar – to have a vote on five of the nine members of the Kansas Supreme Court Nominating Commission, which selects nominees for positions on the state Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals.
The Nominating Commission submits three nominees for each vacant seat to the governor, who makes the final choice.
In their federal complaint, the plaintiffs object to the power of the Kansas Bar, which elects five of the members of the commission.
“This restricted election denies the citizens of Kansas the right to vote and the right to participate equally in the selection of justices and judges in Kansas,” the complaint states.
The plaintiffs claim the process violates their 14th Amendment right to equal participation in selection of judicial officials and denies them the right to vote.
They want the process declared unconstitutional and the nominating commission enjoined from taking part in the process of filling the currently vacant seats.
The plaintiffs are represented by Richard Macias.