Senate Sees Opposition to Courts Change

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) The Kansas Senate has approved a proposal to give the governor and legislators more power over appointments to the state’s appellate courts.
Wednesday’s vote on the proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution was 28-12, slightly more than the two-thirds majority needed for passage.

The measure would have the governor appoint judges to the Kansas Court of Appeals and the state Supreme Court, subject to Senate confirmation.

The proposal would scrap an attorney-led commission that screens applicants and nominates three finalists for each vacancy. The governor must pick one, with no role for legislators.

The measure goes next to the House, where approval by a two-thirds majority would put it on a statewide ballot in 2014. Amendments to the Kansas Constitution require approval by a simple majority of voters.