Civil Rights

Independent state Sen. Dennis Pyle of Hiawatha is at the center of a neighor-to-neighbor property dispute that made its way Thursday to the Kansas Supreme Court. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Northeast Kansas farm neighbors Pyle, Gall ask state’s highest court to settle property dispute

BY: - February 2, 2023

TOPEKA — Protracted legal friction between neighboring northeast Kansas landowners Dennis Pyle and James Gall Jr. about vehicle and farm equipment access to crop fields finally matured sufficiently to reach the Kansas Supreme Court. The Gall and Pyle farming families endured a bench trial in Brown County District Court and proceedings with the Kansas Court […]

Anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in Kansas Legislature are political bullying tactic, activists say

BY: - February 2, 2023

TOPEKA — The Kansas GOP is testing the waters with new legislation meant to discredit the LGBTQ community, activists say, with bills seeking to criminalize gender-affirming care and drag show performances for children, and a revised ban on transgender athletes. House Bill 2238, a new form of the “fairness in women’s sports act,” which has […]

Kansas Supreme Court Justice Melissa Standridge

Kansas Supreme Court justices point to ‘chilling’ impact of law on voter registration activity

BY: - February 1, 2023

TOPEKA — Kansas Supreme Court justices raised concerns Wednesday about the “chilling” effect a 2021 law could have on League of Women Voters volunteers and others who participate in voter registration drives. Part of the legislation makes it a crime to engage in conduct that would cause someone to believe you are an election worker. […]

OPINION
The U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday a former police detective in Kansas City, Kansas, was indicted on six counts related to sexual assault of two women about 20 years ago. Roger Golubski, 69, was accused of federal civil rights crimes for assaulting victims while under "color of law." (Getty Images)

Swaths of Kansas lack written policies on exculpatory evidence, law enforcement dishonesty

BY: - January 26, 2023

Leslie Mayer of Hutchinson is convinced the Lyon County Attorney’s Office withheld evidence that would have helped her late son Travis avoid at least some of the 56 months in prison he served after being found guilty of aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer at a 2017 trial. The withheld evidence, she believes, included […]

OPINION
Legislators have shown themselves all too willing to pass legislation targeting transgender Kansans, writes Erica Treto. With elections coming up, we can all make our voices heard on this important issue.

Anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and laws harm your Kansas neighbors. We can build a more welcoming state.

BY: - January 24, 2023

Even as data shows a majority of the country supports LGBTQ+ people and their rights, hostility and violence against the community is on the rise. The past two years have been the deadliest for transgender people in recent history, in large part due to the rapidly increasing number of legislative attacks against trans peoples’ rights […]

Proposed Kansas bill would turn abortion control over to cities, counties

BY: - January 23, 2023

TOPEKA — A recently introduced bill would bring the abortion fight to the county and city level, allowing local government to limit access to reproductive health care. The latest in a series of attempts to restrict abortion, Senate Bill 65 would give cities and counties the right to enact stricter laws on abortion than current […]

Jeff Zmuda, secretary of the Kansas Department of Corrections, said the shortage of uniformed officers in the prison system was fueling employee burnout and required ongoing support from the Legislature and Gov. Laura Kelly for salary increases to recruit to fill 380 vacancies statewide. (Kansas Reflector screen capture from Kansas Legislature YouTube channel)

Kansas corrections secretary anxious burnout exacerbating uniformed-officer shortage

BY: - January 20, 2023

Kansas Department of Corrections fearful requiring 12-hour shifts to deal with shortage of 370 uniformed officers may push employees to breaking point.

OPINION
peaker of the House Dan Hawkins and Senate President Ty Masterson

Invasion of the body snatchers: Kansas GOP leaders crave control of residents

BY: - January 19, 2023

Republican leaders in the Kansas Legislature want to control your body and the bodies of your children. This new invasion of the body snatchers has played out across the last year or more in state politics, as those who claim to lead a party once dedicated to individual rights abandoned its rich history. GOP bigwigs […]

Advocates gather to support former University of Kansas professor following his sentencing

BY: - January 18, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Supporters of former University of Kansas professor Franklin Tao gathered in the cold wind and rain Wednesday outside the Robert J. Dole Federal Courthouse. The group assembled to show support for Tao, who was the first person arrested under former President Donald Trump’s discontinued “China Initiative” in 2019, and to voice […]

OPINION
Rabbi Moti Rieber

If Kansas legislators choose, a sensible and moderate path out of chaos awaits them

BY: - January 18, 2023

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Rabbi Moti Rieber is executive director of Kansas Interfaith Action, a statewide, multifaith issue-advocacy organization that works on a variety of social, economic and climate justice […]

Micah Kubic, of the ACLU of Kansas, appears at a microphone

ACLU of Kansas prepared to challenge Legislature’s attacks on trans kids, voting rights

BY: - January 16, 2023

TOPEKA — The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas is prepared to challenge the Kansas Legislature’s annual attacks on transgender children, voting rights and reproductive health care while searching for common ground on criminal justice reform and medical marijuana. The organization’s priorities for the 2023 session are mostly at odds with leadership in the GOP-dominated […]

OPINION
Mark McCormick

On this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, no one should settle for ‘a piece of freedom’

BY: - January 15, 2023

Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Mark McCormick is the former executive director of The Kansas African American Museum, a member of the Kansas African American Affairs Commission and deputy executive director at […]