Three judges, ruling as a panel, Wednesday ruled the Kansas Democratic Party does not have to supply a name to the Secretary of State’s office for the upcoming general election race for US Senate. The ruling came mid-afternoon Wednesday, just before a requested deadline by Secretary of State Kris Kobach who has been trying to get the state party to provide a replacement name for Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor. Taylor was the Democratic nomination in the August primary election, but then backed out of the race in early September. Following his withdrawal, Kobach said he would not remove Taylor’s name for technical reasons – a decision that ultimately found it’s way to the Kansas State Supreme Court which ruled Taylor could indeed take his name off the ballot.
In it’s ruling, the court was acting on a petition by David Orel of Kansas City, a registered Democrat who was asked the same court to force his own party to provide a replacement for Taylor. The State Supreme court said it didn’t have enough evidence to review the case, and ordered it sent to a lower court for a hearing.
Three judges, Larry D. Hendricks, Franklin R. Theis and Evelyn Wilson where arguments from Orel’s attorney and Secretary of State Kobach, who told the court he had a special interest in the case, Monday afternoon.
The court, in its 21 page ruling, said the basis of its ruling was “legislative and case history in favor of a limitation on the use of the word “shall” in who has the authority to fill a vacancy.”