Kansas Supreme Court to hear Chad Taylor ballot case

Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kansas — The Kansas Supreme Court will hear arguments at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday in the case involving Chad Taylor’s request to have his name removed from the ballot for a U.S. Senate seat in November’s general election.

Chad Taylor, the Democrat in the race, filed a petition last week asking the Kansas Supreme Court to prohibit Secretary of State Kris Kobach from printing his name on the ballot. Taylor alleges that his request was filed in a timely and lawful manner.

Taylor claims that Kobach’s deputy, Bradley Bryant, told Taylor that his letter was sufficient to withdraw from the race.

Bryant argues otherwise, saying in an affidavit: “I did not affirm… that his letter contained all of the necessary information to effectuate his withdrawal.”

Experts tell KSN that Tuesday’s hearing in Topeka will not boil down to the “he said, she said” of the legal argument.

“That public official probably wasn’t in a position to promise that he did or did not meet the standard. I think the court will rule on what the statute means a candidate must do,” said KSN political analyst Jeff Jarman.

“The Kansas Supreme Court will finally decide whether a candidate seeking to withdraw her or his name has to make a formal declaration of incapability as required by the statute or whether it’s just enough to reference the statute,” explained KSN legal expert, Dan Monnat.

Kris Kobach has refused Taylor’s request, alleging that his withdrawal did not meet statutory requirements and Taylor’s name must remain on the ballot, or an alternate must be named by his party.

Nearly 250 pages of court documents were filed Monday, ahead of Tuesday’s Kansas Supreme Court hearing. The documents likely preview what is expected to be presented during oral arguments.

Click here to read those documents in their entirety.

Regardless, with ballots expected to begin being prepared on Friday, September 19, time is a great concern.

“The state really does have a very quick deadline to begin the process of printing ballots and getting ready to hold the election, so the Court needs to decide quickly whose names will be on the ballot,” said Jarman.

Related documents filed with the Kansas Supreme Court:

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