Archive for Thursday, June 9, 2005

Lawmaker wants showdown

June 9, 2005

— They've been told to return to the Capitol on June 22 for a special legislative session to increase school funding, but some Republican lawmakers say they prefer a showdown with the Kansas Supreme Court even if that means going to jail.

Circulating Tuesday among the state's school superintendents was an intercepted e-mail from Rep. Frank Miller, R-Independence.

In the e-mail, Miller urged lawmakers to ignore the court order, consider impeachment of the justices or other ways to throw a wrench into the special legislative session ordered by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

"We need to put a stop into the activist agenda of our courts," he said.

Miller said he wanted to defy the court.

"We could dump it back in the court's lap and say, 'OK, you're going to send us all to jail?' If so, I'll gladly go," he said.

Miller confirmed in a telephone interview that he wrote the e-mail.

The sentiments expressed in Miller's missive were shared by others in the Legislature.

"I think it would, absolutely, be a huge mistake to do exactly what the Supreme Court says," said House Majority Leader Clay Aurand, R-Courtland. "If the court wants to continue to push us toward a constitutional showdown, I guess we might as well have it now as wait until next spring."

Rep. Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said he agreed with Miller.

Other Republicans took a grin-and-bear-it attitude, saying that when the Legislature starts its special session it must comply with the court's order.

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