Civil Rights

Kansas Senate quickly endorses legislation banning ‘sanctuary cities’

BY: - March 30, 2022

TOPEKA — Kansas senators Wednesday backed a measure prohibiting municipal governments from creating “sanctuary cities,” rejecting concerns about the speed the measure was moving through the Legislature. House Bill 2717 is a response to action taken by the Unified Government of Kansas City/Wyandotte County to authorize municipal identification cards for undocumented people. The community’s Safe […]


Fiscal policy changes can begin to make Kansas more racially equitable

BY: , and - March 30, 2022

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. Tiffany Anderson, superintendent of Topeka USD 501, and Shannon Portillo, associate dean and professor at the University of Kansas, served as co-chairs of the Governor’s Commission […]

Biden signs law named for Emmett Till that makes lynching a federal hate crime

BY: - March 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — Nearly 70 years after 14-year-old Emmett Till was kidnapped and murdered in Mississippi by two white men, President Joe Biden signed into law on Tuesday a bill to make lynching a federal hate crime. “Lynching was pure terror to enforce the lie that not everyone belongs in America,” Biden said at  the Rose […]

Kansas Senate gives major shakeup of ballot drop box, mail voting law green light

BY: - March 27, 2022

TOPEKA — Busy with the violin, working two jobs, club and community events, and pursuing a major in political science and sociology, Donnavan Dillon said access to ballot drop boxes and by-mail voting played a critical role for college students like him being able to vote. A bill approved last week by the Kansas Senate would […]

New process for asylum cases at the border unveiled by Biden administration

BY: - March 26, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration announced Thursday steps to expedite asylum cases at the U.S.-Mexico border in an attempt to resolve a years-long backlog, but policy advocates worry the streamlined process could prevent asylum seekers from obtaining legal representation if their cases are denied. “If somebody is not approved in the first instance, they’re going […]

Rep. Ponka-We Victors-Cozad, a Native American and Wichita Democrat, said she rejected an apology by Rep. John Wheeler, R-Garden City, who made an insensitive remark about Victors-Cozad holding a tomahawk instead of a gavel. (Pool photo by Evert Nelson/Topeka Capital-Journal)

Native American legislator rejects GOP lawmaker’s apology for offensive remark

BY: - March 25, 2022

A Native American member of the Kansas House denounced Rep. John Wheeler, R-Garden City, for a racially insensitive "joke" about tomahawks.

U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, in audience at far right, said he would vote against confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson. The Kansas Republican said Jackson was unqualified and would rubberstamp President Joe Biden's agenda. (Submitted)

Marshall vows to vote against Jackson for seat on U.S. Supreme Court

BY: - March 25, 2022

U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall plans to vote against President Joe Biden's nomination of federal judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Kobach, Kansas AG and Legislature to blame for voting law legal costs, representatives say

BY: - March 24, 2022

TOPEKA — With Kansas on the hook for $1.9 million in legal fees stemming from a costly battle over a controversial voting law touted by former Secretary of State Kris Kobach, state representatives cast blame Wednesday on the attorney general and themselves for allowing the situation to reach this point. Kobach persuaded lawmakers in 2013 […]

Representatives move to ban Kansas sanctuary cities in response to Wyandotte County act

BY: - March 23, 2022

TOPEKA — The Kansas House is approving a measure that would prohibit “sanctuary cities,” areas where the municipal governments have rules blocking cooperation with federal authorities investigating undocumented immigrants. The initiative, initiated by Attorney General Derek Schmidt, is a response to action taken by the Unified Government of Kansas City/Wyandotte County to authorize municipal photo identification […]


Anti-trans Kansas legislators use children as kindling for their culture war blaze

BY: - March 22, 2022

As I watched Kansas senators debate Senate Bill 484 on Monday, a sinking feeling grew in my gut. This is what it feels like, I remembered, to have your identity politicized. This is what it’s like to have politicians use your life as kindling for a culture war fire. The bill at question, which later […]

Inclusion, fairness central to Kansas Senate debate over ban on transgender athletes in sports

BY: - March 22, 2022

TOPEKA — Kansas senators renewed a debate Monday over legislation to ban transgender athletes from participating in women’s sports, advancing the bill to a final vote despite pushback over what some considered discriminatory policy. Senate Bill 484 would apply to any Kansas children in sports, theoretically applying to elementary or middle school students in addition to […]

KU professor accused of fraud under China Initiative goes to criminal trial

BY: - March 21, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The two and a half years since her husband, Franklin Tao, was arrested have been a waking nightmare for Hong Peng and the couple’s two children. Peng said she is working three jobs while the family falls into debt from her husband’s legal expenses — and his lost income. She said […]