Kansas Republicans: Hey, Let’s Just Impeach Judges Who Disagree With Us, OK?

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Evidently the new motto of the GOP legislature in Kansas now is “If you can’t beat ‘em, impeach ‘em.”

The Tea Party controlled legislature won’t be happy until they control the state Supreme Court, too, with conservatives putting forth Senate Bill 439, a law that would permit the impeachment of any Judge in the state who acts contrary to the wishes of the legislature.

In other words, any judge in the state who strikes down or modifies any law the legislature passes, for any reason, is thereby subject to impeachment proceedings by the state Legislature.

Excuse us, Kansas, but have you officially gone insane?!? Legislators should not be allowed to punish the state court for doing its constitutional duty. And, worse, this whole idea effectively violates the separation of powers upon which our country was founded. If Bill 439 were to pass, there would be no check and balance system, and the legislature could do whatever it wants, even if it’s unconstitutional.

This is not the first time these crazy conservatives in Kansas have tried to outmaneuver justice. Last year, the legislature gave itself the authority to cut judicial funding statewide if the Supreme Court dared to rule one of the 2014 laws unconstitutional. The law was declared unconstitutional by the state’s High Court and lawmakers wisely repealed it.

As he promoted Bill 439 in a hearing last week, Sen. Mitch Holmes, R-St. John, argued that, “Courts have the ability to harm society with their decisions.”

Excuse us, Sen. Holmes, but so do legislators and chief executives by passing and signing laws that trample on separation of powers.

What started all this? Angry over losing in court on school funding and abortion and impatient to see the death penalty carried out, some lawmakers and Koch brothers’ puppet Gov. Sam Brownback view the judiciary and especially the state Supreme Court as “activist,” “liberal” and out of control. But they’ve gutted public services so much so, including education, that one group of parents sued the government. Brownback fought back, appealing the lawsuit all the way to the Kansas Supreme Court after a lower court described his actions as “destructive of our children’s future.” In March 2014, the Supreme Court ruled the cuts unconstitutional.

As reported at the Daily Kos:

What’s happening to Kansas should be a stark example to the rest of us of what the Republican Party in control of the U.S. Congress would do under any Republican President: Trump, Cruz, Kasich—any of them, it makes absolutely no difference. Any one of them would act as a willing and eager rubber-stamp for a Republican legislature hell-bent on satisfying the desires of a tiny minority of obscenely wealthy donors, leaving the rest of us to suffer the consequences.

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