This is not entirely without precedent in recent Kansas history.
The Republican-controlled Kansas state Senate is considering legislation to make it easier for them to impeach any judge in the state judiciary including the state Supreme Court.
Why the hell would they do that? Because they feel their power to destroy children’s futures has been jeopardized by the courts.
A committee in the GOP-controlled Senate plans to vote Tuesday on a bill that would make “attempting to usurp the power” of the Legislature or the executive branch grounds for impeachment.
Impeachment has “been a little-used tool” to challenge judges who strike down new legislation, said Republican Sen. Dennis Pyle, a sponsor of the measure. “Maybe it needs to be oiled up a little bit or sharpened a little bit.”
The proposal has considerable support in a Legislature in which Republicans outnumber Democrats more than 3 to 1. Nearly half the Senate’s members have signed on as sponsors. It’s unclear whether its novelty could complicate passage.
In case you’re just joining us, the state judiciary has ruled on more than one occasion that Kansas is not funding education at a level that is constitutional. A District court ruled in 2014 that the state legislature must increase funding for schools with disadvantaged students while the state Supreme Court just recently affirmed the lower court ruling.
I say this situation is not without precedent because Governor Sam Brownback threatened to defund the entire state judiciary after the initial ruling by the lower court in 2014. Additionally, the state legislature passed a law stripping the judiciary of its authority to appoint district judges, but that law was struck down by the judiciary, leading to even more threats against the court.
Republicans in Kansas have waged a multi-year long campaign to nullify and delegitimatize the state court system because respecting the court’s decisions would mean reversing course on the reckless fiscal policies they’ve adopted.
Kansas cannot properly fund education and a number of other programs because Governor Sam Brownback and his henchmen in the legislature have emptied the state’s coffers with generous tax cuts. And that’s putting it mildly. Businesses pay no income taxes in Kansas under the Brownback regime which has led to a wave of people declaring themselves businesses to avoid paying any taxes.
Republicans won’t rest until they’ve transformed every state into Jindal’s crumbling Louisiana.