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July 14, 2005

Kansas Supreme Court caught in act of blatant Judicial Activism

From AgapePress:

Earlier this month, under orders from the Kansas Supreme Court, lawmakers in that state approved a $148 million funding plan for public education. The justices had threatened to withhold state aid from public schools unless the legislature boosted funding. High-level state officials have voiced their approval of the tactic....

Brian Fahling with the AFA Center for Law & Policy says the action taken by the Kansas high court has no constitutional basis. The court, he believes, has crossed the line.

"One of the fundamental powers of the elected body of any state or nation is that of the purse -- apportionment of funds for particular purposes according to the policy set by the governor and the legislature," Fahling asserts. "In this particular case, we have a court ordering the legislative body of the state of Kansas to [essentially] double ... the funding for education in that state. They have transgressed the separation-of-powers principle."

A former trustee with the Wichita-based Flint Hills Center for Public Policy seems to agree with Fahling. In a policy brief written before the legislature acquiesced, Gerrit Wormhoudt warned that such a response would simply aid and abet what he described as the court's "self-destructive actions."

"Throughout our history as a state and as a nation the power to tax and to appropriate money exacted from the people has been considered as a strictly legislative power," Wormhoudt, now a member of the board of directors for the Institute for Justice, wrote. "[But] our Supreme Court's assumption of power, constitutionally assigned solely to the legislature with respect to school financing, is most unfortunate and clearly inconsistent with the foundations of a constitutional democracy."

Are these judges really too stupid to see that abusing their power this way will only ensure that the much needed controls over judicial abuse will be forced on them even sooner? The Kansas Legislature and the governor should be a shamed for their willing capitulation to such an outrageous abuse of power.

Posted by Danny Carlton at July 14, 2005 08:12 AM

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