TOPEKA – (December 7, 2015) – Attorney General Derek Schmidt today issued the following statement in response to the Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice’s decision to recuse himself from Solomon v. Kansas and the decision of the other Justices to remain on the case:
“The State appreciates the prudent decision of the Chief Justice to step aside from judging the validity of a statute he had repeatedly criticized in public statements. This action is not all the State had recommended to ensure public confidence in these proceedings. However, taken together with the new assurances of four other Justices that they played no role in most of those public statements, and the reminder from Justice Stegall that he had not yet been appointed to the Supreme Court when those statements were made, today’s order speaks to the importance of a fair and impartial hearing.
”In September, I expressed my belief that neither the Legislature nor the Judiciary intends or wants increasingly strident conflict, nor would that serve Kansans well, and I still believe that to be so. We now have taken steps to prevent any cutoff of judicial funding regardless of the outcome in this case, and to address any perception that the Court’s public statements would taint its judgment.
“I have appreciated the restraint shown by all involved. Our attorneys look forward to presenting the State’s defense of the statute before the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday.”