Wed May 15, 2013
Kansas Supreme Court Justice And Lawmaker Butt Heads
The chief justice of the Kansas Supreme Court and a prominent legislator are butting heads. At issue are allegations made the the justice. He says the legislator, who's an attorney, tried to make a deal tying a pay raise for court workers to a constitutional amendment.
Chief Justice Lawton Nuss wrote a letter to a group of judges outlining the allegations. He said that Senate Vice President Jeff King told a group of judges in a meeting that if they didn’t support a plan to overhaul how Supreme Court justices are selected, then the pay increase might not pass. The pay increase would be a 2 percent raise for some court workers that have been identified as underpaid.
Senator King fired back at the allegations, saying that Justice Nuss wasn’t at the meeting. King says he never said the pay increase would be tied to supporting the constitutional amendment. He’s requesting an apology.
“Acknowledge what he did was wrong and unfounded, apologize to me before the members of the bar that I practice in front of, and continue to work with me as we have in the past to help bridge the divide between the Legislature and the judiciary.”
The constitutional amendment would give the governor and the Senate more power in selecting Supreme Court justices.
Justice Nuss responded saying he stands by the letter he wrote.