Category: Forum

Selective Mercy – Clemency and the Holiday Season

            President Trump’s recent pardons of Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Charles Kushner, and four former military contractors drew headlines, but the President is not the only executive wielding pardon power.[1]  In December 2020, multiple Governors granted clemency in …

2020 Election Sees Oregon Take a Bold New Step in Decriminalizing Hard Drug Possession. Will Other States Follow?

While the 2020 election has been dominated by talk of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, other victories garnered headlines.  On November 4, 2020, Oregon, the first state in the country to decriminalize marijuana possession in 1973, became the first …

Breonna Taylor’s Murder: When Legal Definitions Don’t Reflect Reality

While many people have heard, and been outraged by, the legal outcomes of Breonna Taylor’s death, some may be wondering, what does all this mean?  When a person is shot in their own home, how is that not …

Local Governments Act When States and the Federal Government Refuse to Lower Penalties for Small Drug Offenses

Currently 33 states allow some form of medical marijuana, and 11 states allow some form of recreational marijuana.[1] Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced that she would support a law allowing Kansas to join those states allowing medical marijuana …

Qualified Immunity Undermines Civil Rights Claims, But the Supreme Court Won’t Hear It

At the end of the 2019–2020 term, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear seven cases related to qualified immunity, a doctrine that shields governmental officials from liability in civil actions brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. …

Social Distancing Forces Modernization of Kansas Notary Laws

Disclaimer: Executive Order No. 20-20 authorizes virtual notarizations until May 1, 2020, or until the State of Disaster Emergency related to COVID-19 expires in Kansas, whichever is earlier. On April 15, 2020, however, Governor Kelly signed Executive Order …

Voting in Kansas Under COVID-19: How a 2019 Elections Bill Could Offer Protections

Governor Kelly signed into law amendments to the election process in Kansas on April 15, 2019. The law expands certain protections to voters who vote by advance ballot and increases access to polling places. As of April 25, …

Betting on Which Kansas Sports Wagering Bill Will Pass

Kansas is currently considering two different bills to legalize sports wagering. The introduction of these bills comes in wake of the landmark Supreme Court case Murphy v. NCAA in 2018. In Murphy, the Supreme Court determined the constitutionality …

Kansas Federal District Court Drags “Ag-Gag” Law

The agricultural industry is one of the largest drivers of the Kansas economy, valued at nearly $65.7 billion.[1]  As such, Kansas has a tremendous interest in protecting agribusiness within the state.  However, certain interest groups also have a …

Got (Raw) Milk? You Can Now, Thanks to the First Amendment

Despite the variety of milks available to us at the grocery store, you probably did not know you could buy raw milk in the state of Kansas—and for good reason.  Under an obscure 1967 law, Kansas dairies were …