Supreme Court Decisions Necessitate Constitutional Amendments

The Topeka Capital-Journal, January 12, 2020 | Go to article overview

Supreme Court Decisions Necessitate Constitutional Amendments


2020 will be a busy year at the Statehouse where you’ll hear news about two constitutional amendments I will support. I’ll also work hard to ensure middle-class Kansas taxpayers directly benefit from a strong Trump economy; continue to monitor our mental health crisis and opioid and suicide epidemics; and ensure our roads carry us into the next generation.

The first constitutional amendment will protect laws already in place that are now at risk because of a decision by the Kansas Supreme Court last April. Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt cleared a path for unlimited abortion. The health and safety of countless women and their babies are at stake because reasonable regulations, such as parental consent requirements for minors, could be struck down. Kansans could lose the ability to require an abortion provider to have a license, follow health and safety guidelines and provide women information about potential risks.

It could remove our ban on late-term and dismemberment abortions and taxpayer-funded abortions. The amendment will not ban abortion nor prohibit exceptions for cases of rape, incest or life of the mother. The amendment simply allows Kansas voters to decide how to regulate an industry as it does other health care services.

The second constitutional amendment also addresses a decision by activists among the Kansas Supreme Court. The court removed the legal caps on non-economic damages sought in lawsuits. This means lawsuits can seek to recover such things as psychological damage in addition to economic loss. We can’t allow Kansas to become a roost for fee-seeking trial lawyers looking to sue individuals, families and companies for all they are worth. Without action, everyone will pay the price in higher insurance rates to protect themselves against irresponsible litigation. …

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