Kansas chief justice to give address; court change pondered

Chief Justice Lawton Nuss
Chief Justice Lawton Nuss (AP Photo/Topeka Capital-Journal, Thad Allton)

TOPEKA, Kansas(AP) – Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton Nuss is preparing to give his annual State of the Judiciary address with legislators considering a change in how the court’s members are selected.

Nuss was delivering his speech Wednesday in the Supreme Court’s chamber. The address gave him a chance to discuss funding issues and the high court’s initiatives in administering the judiciary.

But his address was scheduled to start just after a House debate on a proposal to change the process for selecting justices.

Under the current system, an attorney-led nominating commission screens applicants for Supreme Court vacancies and names three finalists. The governor must pick one, and legislators have no role.

The House proposal would abolish the nominating commission. The governor would appoint the justices directly, subject to state Senate confirmation.

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