A University of Kansas Law Professor says that if the Kansas Legislature does not reconvene in special session before the end of the month, we will have a constitutional crisis.
“Under our theory of government, hearkening all the way back to the 1803 U.S. Supreme Court case of Marbury v. Madison, which I imagine most of us studied in high school civics, it’s the high court that has the duty to declare what the law is,” said Professor Lumen “Lou” Mulligan. Mulligan is the Director of the Shook, Hardy & Bacon Center for Excellence in Advocacy at KU.
“If the Legislature says, we just disagree and we refuse to comply with court orders, we have a standoff,” Mulligan said. “We’ll see what happens.”
Mulligan reminded us of the desire of some officials to not have court orders followed in Kansas’ historical past.
“If you recall, during desegregation, after the United States Supreme Court issued Brown v. Board of Education there were many leaders throughout the country who wanted the Executive Branch just to not comply with the court order. Ultimately, President Eisenhower called in the Airborne and escorted children to school in Little Rock. Ultimately, the branches have to work together. There’s no court that can enforce its own order.”
There has been no word from either the Governor’s office or legislative leadership as to if or when a special session might occur.