Lawmaker wants to eliminate legislative immunity

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – A Wichita legislator calls it the Kansas legislature’s “soiled little secret”: legislative immunity.

Rep. John Carmichael, (D) Wichita, appeared earlier than the Kansas Home Federal and State Affairs committee at the moment to request that they settle for his proposed modification to the Kansas State Consitution. Consultant John Carmichael introduced 2021 R.S. 1842, “a proposal to amend Section 22 of Article 2 of the Constitution of the State of Kansas [page 9] referring to legislative immunity from arrest and civil service course of.”

Committee Chairman Barker requested Carmichael how lengthy his invoice is, and the consultant replied that it’s simply 1.5 pages lengthy. The chairman advised Carmichael that they’d settle for his laws for consideration.

“We have now a grimy little secret up right here,” Carmichael advised 13 Information on a Zoom name from the Kansas Statehouse. “And that’s legislators velocity up and down the turnpike and up and down I-70 on a regular basis.”

The proposed constitutional modification would strike a bit of the Kansas Consitution that reads: “No member of the legislature shall be topic to arrest apart from treason, felony or breach of the peace–in going to, getting back from, the place of assembly, or throughout the continuance of the session; neither shall he be topic to the service of any civil course of throughout the session, nor for fifteen days earlier to its graduation.”

The laws is defined on this approach: “The aim of this modification is to take away the availability of regulation permitting legislators to have immunity from being arrest or from being served with civil course of.”

The Kansas structure gives for legislative immunity whereas the legislature is in session and fifteen days earlier than as they put together. Whereas they can’t be arrested for sure issues whereas the legislature is in session, they are often arrested and/or charged as soon as the session ends. Nevertheless, Carmichael notes that some prosecutors have chosen to not cost some legislators, together with some instances involving DUI’s, at a later date.

Wichita Consultant John Carmichael says there was a motive for it again when the state’s structure was first written in 1851. He tells 13 Information it prevented pro-slavery sheriffs from arresting or detaining abolitionist lawmakers on their strategy to the state capitol however is now used as an excuse to interrupt the regulation. The rep from Wichita says fellow legislators mainly use legislative immunity to hurry up and down the turnpike. He claims a few of them even place stickers of their again home windows to establish themselves as legislators to forestall troopers from pulling them over within the first place.

Carmichael made it clear that he started contemplating this laws lengthy earlier than Senator Gene Suellentrop was arrested for DUI and evading regulation enforcement final week. Suellentrop was launched and has not been charged with any crime. A KHP investigation is underway, and a report is predicted by week’s finish.

Tuesday morning Carmichael’s proposed modification was accepted by the chairman of the Home Federal and State Affairs Committee for consideration. The rep says he doesn’t assume it’s going to go wherever this session. Nevertheless, he says it will likely be again subsequent 12 months. He encourages Kansans to contact their legislators in regards to the invoice.

Consultant Carmichael says legislators aren’t particular, and he believes they need to be anticipated to abide by the exact same legal guidelines they assist write.

Copyright 2021 WIBW. All rights reserved.

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