Constitution

In Kansas, the war on blight continues

In Kansas, the war on blight continues

Kansas governments are trying -- again -- to expand their powers to take property to the detriment of one of the fundamental rights of citizens: private property rights. Last year cities in Kansas lobbied for a bill that would expand their powers to take property from its lawful owners, all in the name of saving neighborhoods from "blight." Governor Brownback vetoed that bill, explaining, "The right to private property serves as a central pillar of the American constitutional tradition."[1. Weeks, Bob. Governor Brownback steps up for property rights. https://bobw7.sg-host.com/kansas-government/governor-brownback-steps-property-rights/.] The governor further explained: "The broad definition of blighted or abandoned…
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Wichita Eagle opinion watch

Another nonsensical editorial from the Wichita Eagle. This is contained in an editorial urging Sedgwick County government to "stop messing" with the zoo.[1. Holman, Rhonda. Stop messing with Sedgwick County Zoo. Wichita Eagle, July 20, 2016. Available at www.kansas.com/opinion/editorials/article90624332.html.] Nor is there any justification for a “non-disparagement clause” in the proposed operating agreement about the zoo director’s public statements, including a prohibition against doing anything to bring the county or society “unwanted or unfavorable publicity.” Even if the county is right -- and the society wrong -- about the constitutionality of such a gag rule on a public employee, it’s…
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Kansas Supreme Court: Making law, part 3

Kansas Supreme Court: Making law, part 3

Do the justices on the Kansas Supreme Court make new law? Yes, and here is another example. A paper by Kansas University School of Law Professor Stephen J. Ware explains the problem with the undemocratic method of judicial selection process used in Kansas.[1. Ware, Stephen J. Originalism, Balanced Legal Realism and Judicial Selection: A Case Study. Available at papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2129265.] The question is whether judges are simply arbitrators of the law, or do they actually participate in the lawmaking process? In his paper, Ware presents eleven examples of judges on the two highest Kansas courts engaging in lawmaking. Here, Ware explains…
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Kansas Supreme Court: Making law, part 2

Kansas Supreme Court: Making law, part 2

Do the justices on the Kansas Supreme Court make new law? Yes, and here is an example. A paper by Kansas University School of Law Professor Stephen J. Ware explains the problem with the undemocratic method of judicial selection process used in Kansas.[1. Ware, Stephen J. Originalism, Balanced Legal Realism and Judicial Selection: A Case Study. Available at papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2129265.] The question is whether judges are simply arbitrators of the law, or do they actually participate in the lawmaking process? In his paper, Ware presents eleven examples of judges on the two highest Kansas courts engaging in lawmaking. Here, Ware explains…
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Kansas Supreme Court: Selecting Judges

Kansas Supreme Court: Selecting Judges

While many believe that judges should not "legislate from the bench," that is, make law themselves, the reality is that lawmaking is a judicial function. A paper by Kansas University School of Law Professor Stephen J. Ware explains the problem with the undemocratic method of judicial selection process used in Kansas.[1. Ware, Stephen J. Originalism, Balanced Legal Realism and Judicial Selection: A Case Study. Available at papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2129265.] At issue is whether judges are simply arbitrators of the law, or do they actually participate in the lawmaking process. Ware presents eleven examples of judges on the two highest Kansas courts engaging…
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