Testimony Opposing Curtailing Court Powers

This is testimony delivered by MainStream today, opposing efforts to amend the Kansas Constitution to hamstring the impartiality and fairness of the Kansas Supreme Courts.

Testimony to Joint Meeting of House Committee on Judiciary and Senate Committee on Judiciary
Chairs, Rep. John Barker, Sen. Jeff King
Hearing: Thursday, June 16, 2016, 2:30 pm, Room 346-S, Statehouse

Chairmen Barker, King, and Members of the Committees,

The MainStream Coalition opposes any Constitutional Amendments to the Kansas Constitution intended to limit or otherwise specify the role of the Kansas Supreme Court in matters of public education.

The Kansas Supreme Court has not overstepped its bounds in regards to public school finance. In fact, it has performed the duties set for it by the people of Kansas admirably. When asked by plaintiffs, and only when asked by plaintiffs, the Court examines laws enacted by the Legislature and determines their constitutionality. That is not “activist” jurisprudence. They do not make law.

Rather, they examine the work of this body, and determine its legality under our Constitution. In the case of Gannon v. State of Kansas, specifically the equity decision released May 27, the Courts determined that the Legislature had not complied with the Constitution.

Disliking the result of a ruling should not result in a constitutional amendment to change the rules. It instead requires that this body craft a school finance plan that meets the requirements set forth by the people of Kansas in their Constitution.

We have spent enough taxpayer money litigating the State’s persistent underfunding of public education. It is time to fully fund schools. Respectfully, we urge you to drop these tactics and do your jobs by the people of Kansas.

Thank you, 

Sheryl Spalding

MainStream Coalition

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