Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Kansas Supreme Court adopts the Nevada Gambit

The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday ordered the Kansas legislature to increase funding for education by $285 million, holding that the $142 million increase actually adopted by the Legislature was not enough to meet the mandate in the Kansas Constitution that the Legislature shall "make suitable provision for finance" of schools. The case is Montoy v. State, and the good folks over at Powerline have compared the case to one in Nevada in 2003 in which the Nevada Supreme Court ordered the Legislature to adopt taxes for increased education funding by a simple majority vote rather than the 2/3 vote required by the Nevada Constitution. The Claremont Institute Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence obtained a restraining order against implementation of the Nevada ruling long enough to let political opposition to build, so that the Legislature ultimately chose to negotiate to a bill that obtained a 2/3 vote rather than ignore the constitutional requirement. Full description of the Nevada case is available here. Kansas Legislators, who are you ’gonna call? Or are you willing to sit by and let this violation of basic constitutional principle of separation of powers go unanswered?

Discussions - 1 Comment

I fail to see the similarity between Montoy and Guinn. Here, the court required the state to provide 1/3 of what the legislature’s own experts stated was necessary, while in Guinn (correct me if I’m wrong) the court actually held a constitutional provision unconstitutional?! Both may be overreaching (I have not read the Kansas constitution and have no idea what it requires), but the Nevada case appears to be far worse and very different in kind.

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