Kansas News

Kansas Supreme Court upholds Republican congressional map

Kansas’ highest court has upheld a Republican redistricting law that makes it harder for the only Democrat in the state’s congressional delegation to win reelection. The state Supreme Court on Wednesday refused for now to declare for the first time that the Kansas Constitution forbids overly partisan gerrymandering. Democrats argued that the map was drawn to help Republicans unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids in the 3rd District in the Kansas City area, while Republicans called it a fair map. It split the Kansas City area between two districts and put the Democratic eastern Kansas college town of Lawrence in the 1st District with heavily Republican central and western Kansas.

Kansas court wrestles with barring political gerrymandering

A top Kansas government attorney has argued that congressional redistricting is naturally political and the Kansas Supreme Court shouldn’t try to decide when partisanship goes too far. But Kansas Solicitor General Brant Laue found himself chastised Monday by one of the justices for making what the justice called a “boys will be boys” argument. The Supreme Court heard arguments in the state’s appeal of a lower court ruling striking down a Republican congressional redistricting law making it harder for the only Democrat in the state’s congressional delegation to win reelection this year. Justice Dan Biles challenge Laue and suggested that partisan gerrymandering can never be a legitimate state interest. 

Kansas legalizes sports betting, then gets sued by casino

Kansas has legalized sports betting. But the state was sued almost immediately Thursday by a state-owned casino operator over an unrelated part of the law designed to revive a long-closed greyhound track in its area. State officials and others weren’t sure ahead of Kelly's signing of sports betting legislation Thursday when sports fans would be able to start making wagers. The lawsuit is from the Kansas Star Casino operated by Boyd Gaming about 15 miles south of Wichita. The casino has a contract with the lottery and says that contract has been breached because the new law allows improper competition from new gambling devices at Wichita Greyhound Park.