Civil Rights

Michael Eckerman, 37, of Wichita, is charged with federal crimes for alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol in protest of the election victory of President Joe Biden. The photograph is included in the FBI's affidavit filed against Eckerman. (Screen capture/Kansas Reflector)

Kansan charged in Jan. 6 riot in U.S. Capitol near scene of fatal shooting

BY: - September 22, 2021

A Wichita man facing federal charges for participating in assault on the U.S. Capitol was near the scene of the fatal shooting of a protester.

the COVID-19 vaccine shouldn't receive a dishonorable discharge for exercising a personal right. (Screen capture of C-SPAN2 coverage/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas senator seeks honorable discharge for troops rejecting vaccine

BY: - September 21, 2021

U.S. Sen. Marshall of Kansas says it would be wrong for the Pentagon to issue dishonorable discharges to service members who refuse the COVID-19 vaccine.

Sen. Mark Steffen, a Republican, said he was working to force a special legislative session to consider bills blocking mask and vaccine mandates for COVID-19 and to open up use of off-label medications during the pandemic. He spoke Monday at the Freedom Revival in the Heartland at City Center Church in Lenexa. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas foes of COVID-19 vaccinations push for political protection from mandates

BY: - September 21, 2021

Conservatives, Republicans come together at Lenexa church revival to consider how best to advance an anti-vaccination agenda in state's political process.


Grievance envy discounts the oppressed while denying them justice

BY: - September 20, 2021

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. Mark McCormick is the former executive director of The Kansas African American Museum and a member of the Kansas African American Affairs Commission. For decades, people […]


From alcohol to pain-relieving pot, Prohibition runs deep in Kansas

BY: - September 19, 2021

Amy Reid is serious about medical marijuana. She’s a Wichita registered nurse and president of the Kansas Cannabis Coalition. She describes herself as a cannabis navigator for her patients, and she is all business when it comes to advocating for medical weed. I couldn’t help but chuckle when she told me the name of a […]

Protests at University of Kansas show culture shift on campus sexual violence

BY: - September 17, 2021

LAWRENCE — For two nights this week, hundreds of outraged students showed up at a University of Kansas fraternity house, demanding answers. With signs reading “no mercy for rapists” and “hold frats accountable,” the students crowded the fraternity’s lawn and chanted from its steps, protesting an alleged sexual assault at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house […]

Judge won’t block new Kansas voting law

BY: - September 16, 2021

TOPEKA — A Shawnee County judge Thursday allowed Kansas to continue enforcing a controversial election law, rejecting arguments it will inhibit voter registration and education efforts.  District Judge Teresa Watson denied a request by four voting advocacy groups to temporarily block the law while a lawsuit filed before the statute took effect July 1 plays […]

Kansas Supreme Court is asked by guardians of 50-year resident of Parsons state hospital to block Kansas agency's plan to force disabled woman's transfer to community-based housing. (Screen capture/Kansas Reflector)

Supreme Court drawn into fight over plan to discharge 50-year resident of state hospital

BY: - September 15, 2021

Kansas Supreme Court tries to resolve conflict over plan to transfer a 50-year disabled resident of Parsons state hospital to a community-based setting.

Revised voting rights bill rolled out in U.S. Senate, with Manchin on board

BY: - September 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a revamped voting rights bill that would expand voter registration as well as create nonpartisan redistricting committees, but the measure is still likely to face an uphill battle in an evenly divided Senate. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he will bring the legislation to the floor of […]


Fed up with a discouraging status quo? Grassroots organizing holds the solution.

BY: - September 15, 2021

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. Steve Lopes was a union organizer for Kansas-NEA for 30 years. Kudos to Aaron Schwartz for his Sept. 1 letter of encouragement to teachers, which alerted […]

Voting rights attorneys argue whether new Kansas law blocks registration drives

BY: - September 14, 2021

TOPEKA — Voting rights attorneys battled Tuesday in Shawnee County District Court over the merits of a new law that threatens felony prosecution for any activities that could be mistaken as the work of an election official. Nonprofits including the League of Women Voters of Kansas sued the state before the law took effect July […]


Kansas attorney general should stop playing footsie with fascism

BY: - September 14, 2021

Let’s talk about Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt for a moment. He’s tall. He’s folksy. He has a decent chance of becoming the next governor of Kansas. And he has a distressing history of playing footsie with fascism, catering to the worst impulses of his party. Sure, the A.G. is the state’s “chief legal officer […]