Civil Rights


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 […]

Kris Kobach appears for a recording of Kansas Reflector's podcast on July 20. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas agrees to $1.9M settlement for defending Kobach’s baseless voter fraud claims

BY: - September 10, 2021

TOPEKA — The Kansas Attorney General’s Office has agreed to pay the American Civil Liberties Union and other attorneys $1.9 million in fees and expenses for a five-year legal battle over an unconstitutional restriction on voter registrations. The high-profile lawsuit was filed 2016 in response to former Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s signature law, which […]

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican, added his voice to GOP opposition by state and federal lawmakers to President Joe Biden's plan for broadening of COVID-19 vaccination requirements. (C-SPAN screenshot/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas Republicans raise objections to Biden’s expansive vaccine mandate

BY: - September 10, 2021

Half of Kansas congressional delegation and three GOP leaders in the Kansas House are critical of President Biden's COVID-19 vaccination mandates.

The University of Kansas chancellor and the Kansas Board of Regents chairwoman denounced content of the KU student body president's social media posts while defending her constitutional right to expression. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

KU chancellor denounces student body president’s Twitter commentary

BY: - September 9, 2021

KU chancellor and Kansas Board of Regents chair condemn student body president's commentary on "death to America," but defend her free speech rights.


Redistricting efforts got off to a rough start, but we can still ensure a fair process for all

BY: - September 8, 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. Sharon Brett is legal director at the ACLU of Kansas. As the once-in-a-decade redistricting process begins for our state, the people of Kansas deserve a process […]