Author Topic: Letter to Kansas Supporters of Case Management Reform by Chris Brown  (Read 9657 times)


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 Below is the text of Chris's letter.  Images have been removed.  For the full document, please download the attachment.

September 1, 2012
Legislators and friends,
                The 2013 session is just around the corner and there is plenty to discuss and even more to concern yourself with at this important time in our State’s history. If we are to make significant, positive changes to our communities and State, it will take strong leadership to change the current path so that we learn from our mistakes. Many of the mistakes we are making, we are making in procedural processesand in uninformed choices. We must end this to create a sustainable future for generations to come.
                Many of you have come out to serve on a few particular issues. Some may feel compelled to run or to serve our State, or our communities but the biggest reason has to be to move this State forward in a direction that is going to help our children succeed, allow the tax payers of this state to not be over burdened with tax bills that make them a slave to the government, and we want our business environment to thrive.
                But, there are two significant and polarizing issues that must be dealt with in Kansas to place it in the right direction. Many of you know that the tax reform legislation and budget issues are a priority but the two issues left to deal with (must be) addressed. School financing and Judicial reform, these two issue are independent but have also become joined as you have witnessed over the past few years and are becoming more “hand in hand”. It is my attempt to lay out the facts and provide you solutions as well as ideas on how to move forward on these issues.
                The issue I’m going to address this week is Judicial Reform. Judicial Reform is much easier now that the Senate and State legislatures has been reshaped. Without Tim Owens, John Vratil and Steve Morris blocking legislation, this moving target can now be hit! I’m using a map to illustrate the US Congressional districts and the significance of the bias in our courts today.
Congressional District Number of registered Attorneys per district:
1st 1,041  Tim Huelskamp, 1st congressional district 
 2nd 2,207  Lynn Jenkins, 2nd congressional district 
 3rd 4,238   Kevin Yoder, 3rd congressional district 
 4th 1,791   Mike Pompeo, 4th congressional district
 Total 9,277
 To put this in perspective - 16 of the 20 judges come from Topeka, Kansas City and Olathe.
 There is not 1 attorney in District #1 on the bench which means "The Big First," the district that encompasses 69 counties in western and central Kansas (more than half of the state), making it the 11th largest congressional district in the nation doesn't have a single representational member on the state courts. In district #4 which encompasses 11 counties including the largest city - Wichita, and Sedgwick County is the 2nd largest county in the State only has 2 in that region.
 So the question then becomes how are the voters to be aware of the Judges in Topeka, when the majority of the state has no one there? There are plenty of cases coming from all areas of the state to be heard before the State court. It doesn’t take a constitutional amendment to create districts for both the Supreme Court and the Appellate Courts. This would be more viable allow the selection process to come from those regions when vacancies came up. This also breaks up the Monopoly of Topeka and Washburn playing such a huge roll in our courts selections. It certainly would give the voters in those regions of the state a chance to see and know what cases their judges were ruling on and how they ruled on that legislation or law. We need to balance the talent pool throughout the state.
                Changing the selection process of our State Judges? Senate Judiciary Chair Tim Owens said, he purposefully did not give the original bill a hearing because he feels strongly it’s an awful idea. The chairman also said, "I think this is the first time I did not hear a bill because I thought it was so bad. This is a terrible, terrible bill that’s hated by the courts; it’s an attempt to take over control of the courts." It doesn’t matter whether the courts hate it or not, the legislature is the branch of government where all laws must originate, and this means “ALL” legislation or laws come through you, and you are to check and balance the other branches, even though your predecessors did not hold up to their end of that deal. We own this state – not 9,277 lawyers. This process is tainted and not in Kansas best interest!
The lawyers should not have such extraordinary control over the selection of judges who will then rule on cases brought by the lawyers who gave them their jobs?" No other state in the union allows the bar this kind of power over the selection of State Supreme Court justices. We hear a lot of talk today about the need for an "independent" judiciary. We need a State legislature bold enough to what is needed and quit allowing the “special interest” of the Bar to stop this change. Put the Judicial back into their primary function INTERPRETING LAW! We need a state and legislative judiciary that is independent of the attorneys and their special interests, especially trial lawyers.
Number of Kansas Bar member 9,277, Kansas population -2,871,238, .0032% of the population in Kansas! 2012 Primaries – 3 attorneys left in the Senate Republican caucus. I challenge each and every “Conservative” to not allow a continuation of this process in the Senate. We have had Tim Owens and John Vratil and many other lawyers Chairing the Senate Judiciary for entirely to long. There is no shortage of lawyers to confer with or advise for anyone sitting in that Judiciary Chair.
Rep. Lance Kinzer has drafted HB 2101 last year, and Susan Waggle drafted SCR 1606 in 2006. These bills need to be debated and every possible problem dealt with. These are starting points and I believe Rep. Kinzer (an attorney) has clearly proven himself worthy, and unbiased to the challenge. Besides the selection process of our judges the Supreme Court has become inept and over reaching in its capacity to function. Some of the mistakes have been made through Congress trying to give away its power.
A quick review of our Constitution and its language.
Article Two: Legislative
1: Legislative power. The legislative power of this state shall be vested in a House of Representatives and senate.
Kansas Bill of Rights
1. Equal rights. All men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
  2. Political power; privileges. All political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and are instituted for their equal protection and benefit. No special privileges or immunities shall ever be granted by the legislature, which may not be altered, revoked or repealed by the same body; and this power shall be exercised by no other tribunal or agency.
As it stands now the legislature has turned over some of its duties to the Judiciary now, the Judiciary is writing Child Support guidelines and those guidelines are not being brought back to the legislature to vote on, amend or have a debate or public vetting of this process, mind you these are only to be guidelines but I think the fact that every lawyer that argues in the State and every Judge that places parents in jail is using this formula and statute illegally. .
The courts are also using their ability to use “guidelines” as means of writing law. This obviously is reserved only for the legislature. The courts have now been given legislative ‘immunity” and the courts have issued Rule 608 stating this “immunity”. Remember #2 Kansas Bill of Rights? So this leaves the citizens of this state with no way of redress with the courts! This is painfully clear to the judges who are now serving this state. This has to be repealed and the judges must be listed to be recalled as well as is all state elected officials in every capacity, judges are no different.
Judicial Guidelines is a process that should be used to help prevent abuses by the lower courts, by clearing up any misinterpretation the lower courts may be using incorrectly. This process should help unclog the system and protect the citizens from activist judges. Yet the Kansas Supreme Court does not use the Judicial Guideline process in this manner.
Case and Point.
All (3) cases the Judges abused their powers. (2) of the cases are “Case Management” cases and both are dealing with Due Process violations (THE SIMPLEST FORM OF OUR RIGHTS) and multiple over reaches of the “Case Manger’s” as well as other simple issues that most people take for granted yet the Judges failed in their delivery of the laws. The courts have stayed mute and rather than send out an Administrative Order or Guideline to clear these issues up for the lower courts and protect the citizens it would rather the system continue to create these problems. This is why Governor Bush vetoed this kind of legislation. However in a rather odd way on August 28, 2012 the courts issued an Administrative order all but repeating the changes in the new statutes for Case Management during the 2012 session not issue one for every law change in the State? Hard to justify or reason with this when you know there was a total disregard from the lower courts to fairly and justly provide their services on the above cases. There is no leadership in the Judicial Branch, at least nothing to the extent of correcting or preventing future mistakes of the courts. If the courts cannot issue these “Guidelines” or administrative orders in an appropriate manner worthy of discussion then the legislature must make changes to the services and bring it in a professional manner that helps the process.
                Other issues that have to be addressed is coming up with a totally NEUTRAL Judicial Review Process, having Congress set up hearings for the Judge’s that simply ignore the laws and place citizens in harm’s way. Accountability in the branches is a must.
                The simplest way to review the legislation you are going to be asked to vote on is ask one question – Does it affect or interject the state or other agencies into our daily life? If it does you better think twice about whether we even need this law or process, and lastly don’t take the Judiciary’s statements at face value, make them produce real facts and clear evidence of any arguments to their positions. Studies by lawyers and Judges don’t qualify as a study when the user is silenced.
                Last week someone stated to you to be “bold”, and I would add to that “be a Kansan, a parent, and a citizen that that wants REAL solutions and changes to help move this State forward”. Hopefully this information will help you in creating a debate forum against your opponent, maybe this will lead you to investigate the matter more, either way we shed a light on a very dark area of our society and information is the key to success.               
Next week I will put together the School issues which I have already started, and this should be quit a doozy! If for some reason you need to find out more on certain subjects please don’t hesitate to call or email me or visit our blog at
Chris Brown