The Kansas Supreme Court issued an order dismissing Wednesday the lawsuit filed by a handful of trial judges and a court employee to pressure the Legislature into expanding financial support for the judicial system.
Justices on the state's highest court said comparable cases in other states exposed "difficult evidentiary and legal issues" that would impede inter-branch discussion about the House and Senate meeting constitutional obligations to the judicial branch.
The plaintiffs filed suit in December directly with the Supreme Court arguing the Legislature had engaged in "chronic, persistent disregard of the demonstrated funding needs" that could be remedied by increased funding for the state court system. The plaintyiffs urged the Supreme Court to force legislators to consider funding "independent of unrelated political agendas."
House Speaker Ron Ryckman, R-Olathe, said he appreciated the Supreme Court's decision to dismiss the case.
"I am pleased that our peers in the judicial branch agree that we as legislators are the sole appropriators of taxpayer dollars," Ryckman said. "I appreciate the court's recognition of separation of powers and their renewed commitment to open communication. It's a good day for Kansas."
The plaintiffs argued state lawmakers were in violation of the separation of powers doctrine and the Supreme Court's general administrative authority over Kansas courts.
The Supreme Court recommended an $18 million increase in the court system's budget with much of the money devoted to raising salaries of court staff and judges.