What Others Are Saying
"The Overland Park Chamber of Commerce supports Johnson County's current merit selection process of its judges and recognizes that the merit selection process of selecting our judges provides a sound foundation for Johnson County's judicial system. The Chamber urges the business community and citizens of Johnson County to oppose any and all efforts to change our merit selection system to a partisan election process."
Overland Park Chamber of Commerce, March 31, 2007
“… to turn our district judges into politicians seems like an awful way to pick our judges,…. Has there ever been a decision by our district judges that has been so outrageous as to warrant a change from our current system to plain politics?”
Steve Rose, Chairman, The Sun Publications (6/29/2006)
“The money that is being contributed to the election campaigns of judges in parts of Kansas is compromising the integrity of the courts. Inevitably, people expect something in return for their contributions. In this case it is favored treatment in the justice system. It is no coincidence the largest contributions are made by the lawyers who appear before the judges who receive their money. This leaves a terrible impression about the impartiality of those jurists.”
Editorial, The Kansas City Star, (11/19/2000)
“The current non-partisan, merit selection of judges ensures safeguarding judicial independence and impartiality. Our judges need to be accountable only to the law and the United States Constitution. Our judges must never become “puppets” of any political party or special interest group.”
League of Woman Voters of Johnson County, 12/06/06
“The use of partisan elections to choose judges puts the ideal of judicial independence at risk. Judges must be free from political pressure and fundraising needs associated with elections in order to focus their energies and attention on the cases before them, as well as to insure that they remain as independent and impartial as possible. Judges have an obligation to the rule of low rather than to the will of the people.
Our courts are an important part of our democracy that has served us well for over 200 years. The current merit selection of judges, with a 50-year history in Kansas, provides all citizens with fair and impartial courts that are free from special interests, party politics and unnecessary political pressures."
"Election of judges rewards candidates who raise the most money, rather than those with the best legal credentials. The need to raise money compromises judges’ ability to remain impartial and discourages many of the best qualified candidates from running. In a recent survey of our members, 97.6% opposed election of judges."
Jean Wise, Pres., Johnson County Bar Assn.
"A stable and fair judicial system based on an objective application of the U.S. and Kansas Constitution and the laws of the State of Kansas, free of special interest considerations or ideological bias, is an important aspect of the business and economic development and stability of Johnson County. …. A change to partisan elections would encourage if not require judicial candidates to become political both in their election campaigns and in their consideration of issues and decisions…"
Shawnee Chamber of Commerce, March 26, 2008
"…The current system contains an appropriate balance of direct citizen participation on the nominating commission, an open and public nominating process, and scrutiny of judicial candidates… A change to partisan elections would likely result in judicial candidates to become political both in their election campaigns and in their consideration of issues and decisions"
Olathe Chamber of Commerce, June 27,2008