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August 23, 2012 The Governor released a statement about the August 7th primary, thanking Kansans who voted. ―The people of Kansas have a clear choice: Do we want to grow the government or grow the economy?‖ Brownback said. ‖ Most Kansans want to grow the economy and increase the number of private sector jobs in our state. We will continue working every day to help Kansans fulfill their aspirations.‖ This is where the Conservatives have to seize the moment and change this state productively so that every Kansan can be satisfied and safe within our state borders. Going forward in the 2013 Legislative session we ―MUST‖ rein in spending (Cut the budgets and the deficits) actually bring down the budget. So we are providing multiple items to review, with a short overview of our goals or reasons for the changes. If we make the mistakes of making this a ―social issue congress‖ this congress will not last. We need to stand on conservative principles and push an agenda that benefits the state not the social or special interest groups. We don’t need a Liberal wing of our party, nor do we need to lose our way. As we move forward it is imperative that we understand our constitution and what our founders seen in our model of government. I hope you support most if not all of our legislation as a "Conservative" and most of all our beliefs that we keep all three branches of government in its appropriate role and keep them separate from each other? Here is a great start for our platform of ideas to lead us into the New Year. The executive and legislative branches can explicitly and emphatically reject the theory of judicial supremacy and undertake anew their obligation to assure themselves, separately and independently, of the constitutionality of all laws and judicial decisions. When appropriate, the executive and legislative branches can use their constitutional powers to take meaningful actions to check and balance any judgments rendered by the judicial branch that they believe to be unconstitutional.
The executive and legislative branches should employ an interpretive approach of originalism in their assessment of the constitutionality of state and federal laws and judicial decisions. Just look at how vague the laws are. There is a reason for this.
Judicial Branch This single Branch of government is maligning everything we stand for as citizens and our fundamental rights as citizens. This branch has no accountability, no independent oversight and continues to over reach at every turn. We have the most ―LIBERAL‖ judicial system in the country, and Kansas is the only state to elect its State Court Judges the way we do here. With the broadening latitude of the Courts, their injection into our daily lives and the real over reach by the courts, it is important to the citizens of Kansas that this branch be taken back to a time when it's only primary job was that of "interpreting laws" and no more. Be mindful of the fact that we cannot change laws with lawyers and attorneys Chairing the Judiciary’s in both houses. John Vratil and Tim Owens have single handedly prevented or stopped ―ANY‖ changes to the judiciary for more than 10 years in the Senate alone, while continuing to expand the courts authority. In order to move forward we must make better decisions in appointing these Chairs and Vice Chairs. We now have 3 Republican attorneys in the Senate, I’m sure that Jay Emler will seek to continue this run for this position but we cannot allow this to happen. Lawyers can serve on this committee but in a legal advisory role only. Voters need to have a say in the Judicial selections and the process needs to be vetted to keep this branch minimized in its ―political views‖. Here are several things to consider, many of these bills or drafts are already in existence to start making the necessary changes. One thing to consider may be districts for these state Judges to be selected from to keep a balance state wide based on the numbers of Judges for the Supreme and Appellate Courts.
1) State ballots in 2014? Let the citizens of Kansas either allow for the election of our District court Judges for the state process. This is currently split about 50/50 (vote/appointment) throughout Kansas. Elections would make more sense for the citizens and place the District Courts completely under the election process. 2) State ballots in 2014? Change the Constitution for the selection of the Supreme Court Justices. A Governor selection with a Senate majority approval. This allows for the citizens to communicate with their legislator and gives the public a voice in these selections. The Judicial branch is choosing its existence and with whom "it" wants to use without any input from the public. Make Judicial Districts within the State to allow representation of all areas for the Supreme Court.
3) Change the Statutory law for the selection of the Appellate Court Justices. A Governor selection with a Senate majority approval. This allows for the citizens to communicate with their legislator and gives the public a voice in these selections. The Judicial branch is choosing its existence and with whom "it" wants to use without any input from the public. Make Judicial Districts within the State to allow representation of all areas for the State and Appellate Courts. 4) Make sure the Statutory laws for the selection of the Magistrate judges stays (non-attorneys) and allow them to serve by the age of 18, as Texas has done for decades.
5) As it pertains to the courts, we need a more responsive court and we need to do it for less money. Let’s reduce the Supreme Court Judges from 7 to 5. Let’s reduce the Appellate Judges from 13 to 10. Look at making the ―retention votes‖ to 70% to retain them. New Mexico has a higher retention rate than this. 6) Abolish Judgeships and Lower Courts - The Constitution vests Congress with the power to create and abolish all courts, with the sole exception of the Supreme Court. Congress even has the power, as Congressman Steve King of Iowa frequently notes, to ―reduce the Supreme Court to nothing more than Chief Justice Roberts sitting at a card table with a candle." While abolishing judgeships and lower courts is a blunt tool and one whose use is warranted only in the most extreme circumstances, those who care about the rule of law can be relied upon to consider whatever constitutionally permissible tools they can find to fight judges and courts that exceed their powers. This is one of many possibilities to institute checks and balances on the judiciary.
7) Cutting court staff - It would be more cost effective to have video recorded court hearings, eliminating the need to pay a transcriptionist to transcribe the record of every hearing. You would only need to cite the record and the time, which would be recorded on the video. Sometimes the transcriptionist can’t pick up or record everything that is taking place, but a video records the actual live events, the body language or even the voice inflection of the individuals in the courtrooms including the Judges and attorneys, this would take our courts into the 21st Century quickly. Making sure that ―ALL‖ attorneys, lawyers and Judges are doing their jobs correctly and are not allowing in any misconduct to be tolerated in the courts. This clearly would eliminate the need for as many professionals, less paper trail, and allows for easier and less storage of documents. A $10 copy of a video versus hundreds for a transcript to the parties, let alone the time to produce it. 8) Spending Power - Congress has the power of the purse. It can reduce or eliminate funding of Courts to carry out specific decisions or a class of decisions.
9) Special Grand Juries - Complaints will come before them only after other legal remedies have been exhausted. The Juries should have the power to strip those judges of their protection of judicial immunity who are the subject of complaints for criminal acts and be able to investigate, indict, and initiate criminal prosecution of wayward judges. This type of system would be an irrevocable return to an era before 1960 when Grand Juries did have this kind of authority. 10) The Kansas Legislature can pass a law insisting on the centrality of ―our Creator‖ in defining Kansas rights, the legitimacy of appeals to God ―in public places,‖ and the absolute rejection of judicial supremacy as a violation of the Constitution’s balance of powers. If the Supreme Court ruled that such a law was unconstitutional, the legislative and executive branches could take corrective action. Congress and the Governor could pass the law a second time but include a provision that affirms the legislative and executive branches’ constitutional role to define the Court’s jurisdiction.
11) Executive and Legislative Branch Adoption of Originalism - Both the executive and legislative branches should be encouraged to adopt originalism as a mode of constitutional analysis when deciding on the constitutionality of executive and
legislative branch actions and the constitutionality of legislation. Originalism posits that the interpretation of the Constitution should adhere to the meaning of the text, as those who enacted it understood it. Originalism rejects the idea of substituting one’s own view about the meaning of the Constitution. 12) Limiting the General Application of a Judicial Decision - As the head of the executive branch, a Governor can command all executive branch agencies or its sub contracted agencies in certain circumstances to limit the application of a Supreme Court decision to only the litigants involved and otherwise ignore it as a rule of general application.
13) Impeachment Power - Judges who issue unconstitutional decisions or who otherwise ignore the Constitution and the legitimate powers of the two other coequal branches of the government can be subjected to impeachment, Grand Juries, investigations or criminal referrals. Senate majority vote requirement. 14) Judicial Accountability Hearings - Congress can establish procedural rules for relevant Congressional committees to express their displeasure with certain judicial decisions by holding hearings and requiring judges to come before them and explain their constitutional reasoning in a certain decision and to hear a proper Congressional Constitutional interpretation with powers to reverse or remand those decisions.
15) The Executive Branch and Legislative branches should routinely make clear to the Judicial Branch by statements of policy and/or by legislation their beliefs about the constitutional limits of judicial power in certain cases or certain class of cases. This about applying the law not ideology. When the 9th Circuit ruled in 2002 that the words ―under God‖ in the Pledge was unconstitutional, Congress made its views very clear about the decision. By a 99-0 Senate vote and 401-5 in the House, Congress specifically reaffirmed the language of the 1954 Pledge Law. The President then signed this legislation. The Supreme Court apparently got the message. Two years later it struck down the Ninth Circuit case on procedural grounds. 16) The court lacks jurisdiction anytime it denies you the Bill of Rights or Amendments, especially Due Process. Any judges orders issued under these conditions are to be void immediately when found. Whenever they refuse to hear witnesses, evidence, or testimony and do not abide by proper notice and
procedures or other Due Process requirements, their orders are void automatically on Appeal.
17) SCR 5.5 Law Firms and Associations: Unauthorized Practice of Law A lawyer shall not: (a) practice law in a jurisdiction where doing so violates the regulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction; or (b) assist a person who is not a member of the bar in the performance of activity that constitutes the unauthorized practice of law. This legislation does not, in any way shape manner or form, define a non-lawyer assisting others, whereby it was legal to assist others in the State of Kansas. These rules were put in place originally for only disbarred attorneys. The practice of common law is a public arena, in which all those who are caught up in it are always advised that there is no excuse for ignorance of the law. Multiple areas of the law that are presented by non-attorney’s every day are (police, real estate agents, law clerks, lobbyist, etc. the courts cannot be allowed to regulate non-attorney’s. 18) Recall Statutes - Every elected official in the State can be recalled except for judges. This practice must stop. Judges are no more important than any other public official in any other capacity, including the Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, etc. Places equality back into our judicial system while eliminating ―IMMUNITY‖!
19) A Public Integrity Act - This bill would allow or give the Attorney General the power to investigate Color of law violations and other criminal violations of ―ANY‖ public employees in their capacity to do their jobs. This law would allow the Attorney General to go into any county without invitation to investigate these types of problems to prevent local corruption as well as suspend or place on administrative leave any public employee, or recommend a Grand jury investigation of the allegations. 20) Take the courts out of family business - Domestic Courts were never designed or intend to be punitive. These courts were set up after the Constitution was written and to use the same adversarial settings as criminal courts is an absolute abomination to our society. Divorced families are not criminals, but broken, and hurt and they need a completely different approach to be successful. We need to adopt Shared Custody plans when available. Parents need to get along for their children, not for the courts or a judge demanding it. This should be a model and an emphasis on civility and family units being left intact as much as possible. If
for some reason a party is able to prove "with evidence" that this in fact is not in the best interest of the child the other residency options will be available for use. Courts will no longer be able to hold or take children without documented proof.
21) Judges will no longer hide behind "Broad Discretion" terms in Domestic or Juvenile Courts. The courts are using this term to expedite court settings without vetting the cases properly. These are parents not criminals. We took away the discretion from judges when it came to sentencing criminals or clearly limited their ability or range to sentence criminals with the National guidelines. This was due to their inability to do their jobs properly or consistently. When it comes to families these judges are using the bench to intimidate and place fear in these citizens and their families - this must stop. 22) Case Management will be voided in whole state statute 23-3507. Limited Case Management and Mediation will be available to the parties and the courts, but actually having an individual trying to run families day to day affairs from afar and through the courts is out. This social experiment of government/judicial branch has gone awry and must end. There is simple no statistics showing or verifying that this process benefits any families or children in this process or the courts and the reason is because of the Supreme Court.
23) All children over the age of 10 will be allowed to testify. This legislation already exists now in Chapter 38. Both Domestic and Juvenile Courts should be using this legislation. Statute 38-2262: Placement; testimony of certain children. At any hearing under the code, the court, if requested by the child, shall hear the testimony of the child as to the desires of the child concerning the child's placement, if the child is 10 years of age and of sound intellect. We have to get the courts and the State Judiciary away from this idea that they are in control of our kids until 18 simply because someone filed for a divorce. Considering that kids make many, many harder decisions daily and have greater responsibilities before then i.e. (driving, working, school, extracurricular activities, peer pressure (drinking, etc.). 24) All Juvenile and Domestic courts will offer to the parties juries of their peers. Currently judges are singularly ruling and controlling the cases by acting as Judge, jury and prosecutor. This is not working in favor of the public an or the citizens or the laws of this state.
25) Major changes have to be made in the "Child Support Guidelines". The Supreme is drafting these without a single vote of our legislature being cast. Many states use legislative committees without the Judiciary even being involved. This is a public issue being railroaded through the Judiciary. The idea that we are using a broken formula to penalize nonresidential parents, while asking them to pay child support percentages that are ridiculously high and then compounding it with having them pay shared expenses is barbaric. The state is intentionally trying to hurt one parent in this setting. Even putting them in jail for nonpayment and it's not even law or been approved by our congress. 26) Domestic and Juvenile motion doc's should cease on any issue as it pertains to a change of custody, parenting time, removal of the child or abuse allegations. Full and complete evidentiary hearings will need to be heard to vet the process appropriately and any all evidence presented to the Judge to ensure Due Process has occurred.
27) Adding voluntary "Citizen Review Boards/Panels". These can be selected by the County Commissioners, or others that provide for ―NO‖ Judicial tampering or interference in this process. 28) An independent Judicial Review Board separate from the courts (again these must be neutral). The appointments of these panels will be a sticking point but I believe there is plenty of latitude here to make this work. We have to have FULL accountability in the courts, and they are failing miserably and costing the state and its citizens daily and costing us a toll too high to imagine. This is just a review of the Supreme Court opinions which you can review on line. I would note that these are cases that were ruled on in the District court (30-120 days), then appealed and denied (365 days or longer), and then the Supreme Court process for another year so you get your 15 minutes of time to speak only to wait – HOW LONG. This is where the tires hit the pavement; the courts have their hands in writing guidelines (law), interviewing judges, disciplinary actions and many other things rather than making their job the focus and in a timely manner. Some of these cases have been in the Appellate and Supreme Courts hands for 3 years – unacceptable!!
You need to see how inconsistent the amount of time it is taking to hear the cases and then the time it takes to deliver the findings. Some of these findings took over a year. This is not Due Process; this is a system that once you are in right or wronged it takes entirely too long get a judgment all the while paying enormous amounts of money to attorneys and firms. We have public defenders sitting on these cases for years. There is no consistant amount of judgements coming out of the Supreme Courts on Fridays let alone that the dates are so spread out and vary so much that the entire system needs overhauled for the state. This is only the last 7 weeks of rulings, if you find this as alarming as most others caught in up in it, then it has to be addresses – Not with more Judges either. You can go any day you want to the court house and any judge up there is putting no more than 3-4 hours a day in their courtrooms – PERIOD! Release dates: August 17, 2012 Case# 102100 102140 102688 102877 100362 August 3, 2012 100464 July 27, 2012 100477 101641 102223 103093 103111 July 20, 2012 101092 101905 102129 July 13, 2012 102122 105132
Date heard in Supreme Court Monday April 16, 2012 Wednesday September 28, 2011 Wednesday April 11, 2012 Tuesday May 22, 2012 Tuesday February 7, 2012
Days it took to rule 123 324 128 87 192
Tuesday December 6, 2011
Monday October 24, 2011 Tuesday May 22, 2012 Thursday May 24, 2012 Thursday October 27, 2011 Thursday October 27, 2011
277 66 64 427 427
Tuesday April 10, 2012 Tuesday August 30, 2011 Monday May 21, 2012
101 325 60
Thursday May 24, 2012 Wednesday April 11, 2012
July 6, 2012 107312 107751
Tuesday May 29, 2012 Tuesday May 29, 2012
We have 16 of the 20 Judges in Topeka from Topeka or the Kansas City/Olathe area. This not representation of the state but a notice to legislators that you must be close to them to get their attention. Many of these items will need more discussion and elaboration to fully understand the intent but I believe as do many other Kansan's that the days of Judicial activism are going to need to be behind us in order to fully appreciate the future without the courts daily interference. No more Immunity! Accountability has to be in place for the system to work so that the legislature doesn’t have to fund the Judiciary for new furniture if they rule that way i.e. (school financing). In order to have a civil society, we must have a civil judicial branch....
Schools This single Branch of government is maligning everything we stand for as citizens and our fundamental rights as citizens. This branch has no accountability, no independent oversight and continues to ask for money and request more expenditures with student graduation and testing scores continuing to drop. We have a ―LIBERAL‖ system that simply is not getting it done in Kansas. It is important to the citizens of Kansas that this branch be taken back to a time when it's only primary job was that of "teaching and educating students". Here are the facts according to official government data for the period 2001 to 2011: —Inflation was 24.2% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Midwest Urban Cities) —FTE enrollment increased 1.8% (KSDE) —Taxpayer support of public education increased 55.8%; state aid +37.6%, federal +155.4% and local +67%. (KSDE) —2012 is expected to be a record-setting year for taxpayer support of public education, at $5.672 billion (KSDE) Here are a few more facts that, like those listed above, are not generally known to the public and are routinely denied by education officials. —$402 million more in state and local aid was not spent between 2005 and 2011 but was used to increase operating cash reserves (KSDE)
—Instruction spending per-pupil increased 84% between 1999 and 2011 (KSDE) while inflation was up only 32% (BLS) —Taxpayer support of public education in Kansas increased from $3.1 billion in 1998 to $5.6 billion in 2011 (KSDE) yet student proficiency levels is well below 50% (US Dept. of Ed.) Telling parents the inconvenient truth is not attacking schools, teachers or anyone else. It is giving them the facts they need to make fully informed decisions about what needs to be done to improve public education.
Suggestions: 1) Move toward removing the State BOE. I realize this too is a constitutional matter to change but this entity is simply inept. The school districts have the representation of legislators the same as the public. The school districts have not been redrawn or moved in over 50 years, this single item has led to school districts running into different city limits and making wasteful use of tax payer dollars to bus student that would no longer even be bused to closer schools. 2) Hire an Independent company to evaluate each school district in the State and review its efficiency and cost per student. By learning the ―true‖ cost associated with education and its expenditures we will never ―really‖ know how to fix the problem. Schools are administration heavy, with an emphasis on classroom size rather than quality of education. These reports should be used by the legislature and Governor to ascertain better solutions to a growing problem of ―out of control spending‖ and better review how certain school districts are not cost effective.
3) Serious consideration needs to be applied to a ―voucher system‖ for the citizens of this state. Kansan’s deserve more choices and their kids deserve an education worthy of competition. 4) Any type of formula that allows other formulas to add to the states cost. School Districts continue to have bonds and expect the state to cover the bonds without a single legislator vote or the cost or impact to our budget. Lobbyist group continually insists on tax increases and demands more funding without any accountability for public education – PERIOD!
5) Focus needs to be on ―Special programs‖, Special schools, and the needs for busing. Schools are not being responsible for this cost and providing them as a ―want‖ not a need. Any advanced courses or college classes in high school should clearly have more students due to the very nature of the course in preparing them accordingly. 6) School years can be shortened to eliminate enormous amounts of cost in August and May due to the Heat. 7) Collective Bargaining for Public Employees needs to end. 8) Privatizing KPRS. 9) Bond and Interest formulas have to be reformed so that our legislators have to review before acted on. 10) End the Kansas Board of Regents ability to continue to increase tuition rates yearly and at ridiculous rates.
Overall State Expenditures The state has many areas that can be improved or cleaned up to save tax payers money and get the government out of our daily lives. This is but a short list. Suggestions: Tags staying on the vehicles. Texas assigns the tag to the vehicle so there is no additional cost for tags every 2-4 years. Eliminates tag offices except for new cars. The rest of the registration can be done on line. (21st century?) Toll fees still being incurred for 35 Turnpike. A 10 year toll that has lasted 50 years. Turn the road over to the counties and eliminate the tolls. Tax reform, to stop increasing ―Property Taxes‖ on retired seniors with fixed incomes. This defies logic. Focus on ending stupid State permits and licensing that are burdensome. http://www.businesslicenses.com/licenses.php
The Department of Health will create a process for anything, tanning, dairy, raffle, tattoos, nails, Barbers and Cosmetologists would no longer need to be licensed. It’s these type regulations that are killing small business and if the daily individual can’t select their barber or the fact that people cut their own hair – then we are in trouble. Let alone the fact that ―not having‖ these may lead to your imprisonment or the government fining them. We have dog licenses, hunting licenses, park permits, boat permits, garage sale permits, trash permit, just how much needs to be charged for?? Common Sense must prevail. Laws like this: Pedestrians crossing the highways at night must wear tail lights. We have so many ridiculous laws on the books that a review of these types of laws to be removed only makes since. Kansas stupid laws on the books:
All businesses in Dodge City, Kansas are legally required to provide water toughs for horses. Should two trains meet on a track in Kansas, one is not legally entitled to proceed until the other has passed. This law applies to both trains which begs the question, how do they proceed? If you say the name George Washington in Kansas City, Kansas, you are legally required to also say ―blessed be his name‖ or you may face a fine of up to $0.50. It is against the law to throw knives at men wearing striped suites in Natoma, Kansas. It is against the law to put ice cream on cherry pie in the state of Kansas. All cars entering Lawrence, Kansas are legally required to blow the horn before actually entering city limits to notify horses of their arrival. It is against the law for persons to wear a bee in their hat in Lawrence, Kansas. Not sure I see the logic here. While it is perfectly legal for a minor to purchase a shotgun in Kansas City, they are not legally entitled to purchase cap guns. Musical car horns are against the law in Russell, Kansas. It is against the law to install bathtubs in Topeka, Kansas
Immigration – Illegal means ―Illegal‖. We must stop the public funding of these individuals. There is a system and laws in place to be here ―Legally‖. This goes for schools, colleges, etc. Major reform in ―not sending people to jail‖ for non-aggravated crimes i.e. (child support, trespassing, and other misdemeanors) to reduce the housing cost.
Make major cuts in the funding of SRS, Youthville and other services that interfere in child development and family settings with a ―state first‖ mentality. Making sure Capital punishment is instituted and carried out. That murder, rape, aggravated crimes are penalized accordingly for the crime. Chris Brown (contact) Accountability 101