Supreme Tampering?

Lawton Nuss, a member of the Kansas Supreme Court, has made the ongoing school finance controversy more interesting.

Why? He will recuse himself from further deliberations, after meeting with two members of the legislature in which the three men discussed the school finance case.

Karl Peterjohn, of the Kansas Taxpayers Network, had already called for Nuss’ recusal, as well as that of Donald Allegruci, whose wife has worked for Gov. Sebelius.

Rep. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichita, said “He should have recused himself long before this,” though Alan Rupe, attorney for the school districts that sued the state, said that this would make no difference in the outcome of the case. He’ s probably right.

The Lawrence Journal-World said that the disclosure rocked the capitol. As well it should. Doug Mays, speaker of the House, said “This is a serious breach of the separation of powers.”Then again, some would argue that a breach was already established with the Montoy decision.

Not that one wrong deserves another, but perhaps it does signal a need to reconsider alternate ways of remedying the first wrong. Rupe uses the occasion to criticize the legislature (that’s his job), while on the Salina Journal’s blog space, KSMeadlowLark says this should have happened a long time ago.

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