Making Democracy Work

Safeguarding U.S. Democracy: The Quest for a More Diverse Judiciary

Why we should strive to make our courts more diverse and how to achieve this important goal.

A program to promote a fair and impartial court

The Wichita League joined with the League of Women Voters U.S. and other Kansas Leagues in a major initiative designed to improve the fairness and impartiality of the nation's courts. During 2010 and 2011, we offered a variety of programs and other initiatives aimed at enhancing the legitimacy of our system of justice in the eyes of an increasingly diverse public.

We continue in this endeavor here in Sedgwick County.

Information on the Judiciary

Prosposed Changes in Selecting Judges

Appellate Courts

Some conservatives in the legislature would like to change the way judges are selected to the Appellate Court. The Appellate Court is also known as the Court of Appeals, and appellate judges do not conduct trials, but instead decide on appealed cases.

Currently appellate judges are selected through The Supreme Court Nominating Committee. The committee selects three individuals and forwards those Crecommendations to the governor, who then chooses from those nominations.

The proposal would do away with the current nominating process and enable the governor to select anyone. The state Senate would then confirm the governor's selections in a way similar to how judges are appointed at the federal level. With a conservative majority in the statehouse, there is greater potential for political influence in the judge appointment process.