Civil Rights

Kansas House overwhelmingly rejects proposal to ban no-knock warrants

BY: - February 23, 2022

TOPEKA — Rep. Tim Johnson says he can count on one hand the number of times he executed a no-knock search warrant during his 31 years in law enforcement. The Bonner Springs Republican says he is certified in the use of special weapons and tactics and has written articles on the subject. There are times, […]


Racism embedded deep in American history proves ignorance of those who would deny our failures

BY: - February 23, 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. Samuel Paunetto has a bachelor’s degree in general sociology from Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, a Master’s Degree in divinity from the Seminario Evangelico de Puerto […]

Kansas Senate considers shielding firearm industry from discrimination by businesses

BY: - February 22, 2022

TOPEKA — Legislation under consideration by the Kansas Senate would make firearms the first industry protected from discrimination under state law. Senate Bill 482 prohibits state and local government entities from contracting with companies that refuse to trade, engage or have terminated an existing relationship with firearm companies. Firearm industry advocates argued instances of this type […]

Voting rights advocates urge caution to Kansas senate panel considering pair of election bills

BY: - February 21, 2022

TOPEKA — Voting rights advocates are encouraging Senate legislators to consider an implementation date on a bill adding new audits of state elections and urging them to reject a bill amending the state’s vote roll laws. Senate Bill 439, one of a handful of measures the secretary of state is proposing, would add four years […]

Trump supporters gather outside the Maricopa County Elections Department on Nov. 4, 2020, demanding that all ballots for Donald Trump be counted. Inside the building, election workers were busy counting hundreds of thousands of ballots. (Jerod MacDonald-Evoy/Arizona Mirror)

State judges across the U.S. face growing GOP pushback against rulings in election cases

BY: - February 19, 2022

In mid-December, Texas’ highest criminal court revoked the state attorney general’s ability to use his office to prosecute election-related cases without the request of a district or county attorney. In an 8-1 opinion, the all-Republican court weakened Attorney General Ken Paxton’s power to independently go after perpetrators of voter fraud, a problem he says is […]

Kansas attorney general asks high court to block redistricting lawsuits

BY: - February 18, 2022

TOPEKA — Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt wants the Kansas Supreme Court to block a pair of lawsuits challenging the legality of a new congressional map. The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Loud Light filed separate lawsuits Monday in Wyandotte County District Court. The lawsuits argue the state constitution’s bill of rights provides protection […]

Kansas election official urges legislators to avoid restricting drop boxes for advance ballots

BY: - February 18, 2022

TOPEKA — The Kansas Secretary of State’s Office and voting rights advocates are urging Senate lawmakers to reject a bill banning the use of drop boxes for advance ballots except under certain conditions. With the pandemic raging, many counties chose to add additional drop boxes to increase ease of voting and maintain social distancing. These […]

Kansas State Board of Education member Deena Horst, left, and Brittany Jones, an attorney with Kansas Family Voice, sat together despite being on opposite sides of a House and Senate debate about imposing unprecedented public disclosure laws applicable to Kansas public schools regarding student curriculum and teacher training materials. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Education committees clash over legitimacy of bill of rights legislation for Kansas parents

BY: - February 17, 2022

House and Senate lawmakers step into public K-12 controversy with bills ordering curriculum transparency and dabbling in CRT, sex education politics.

Kansas Senate prepares to introduce maps for redistricting of legislative seats

BY: - February 16, 2022

TOPEKA — The Senate Redistricting Committee plans to introduce maps for new Senate districts next week, while awaiting outcome of two lawsuits challenging the legality of a new congressional map. Committee members met briefly Wednesday in preparation for the unveiling of Senate map proposals. The new maps will be restricted to a 5% deviation from […]

Senate expands scope of practice for Kansas pharmacists, updates hearing loss terminology

BY: - February 15, 2022

TOPEKA — The Kansas Senate approved Tuesday a series of bills expanding pharmacists’ scope of practice, amending insurance code and updating terminology for deaf or hard of hearing Kansans. Senate Bill 200, which would allow pharmacists to test for and treat certain health conditions, passed 37 to 2, but Sen. Alicia Straub, R-Ellinwood, had concerns […]

Rabbi Moti Rieber

Faith leaders and educators urge lawmakers to reject bills undermining Kansas schools

BY: - February 15, 2022

TOPEKA — A coalition of Kansas faith leaders and education advocates are calling on lawmakers to reject legislation currently being drafted to ban or restrict teaching about U.S. racial history. More than 50 people gathered Tuesday on the first floor of the Capitol in Topeka to rally against what they considered a concerted effort to […]

Voting rights groups launch court battle over new Kansas congressional map

BY: - February 14, 2022

TOPEKA — The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Loud Light filed two separate lawsuits Monday arguing the congressional map endorsed by a GOP supermajority in the Legislature intentionally violates constitutional rights of Democrats and communities of color. Republicans passed a map that divides the Kansas City metro area in an obvious attempt to […]