Kansas Liberty: 03 April 2008
Buried by the state Supreme Court
Funeral privacy act rises from judicial grave
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius signed the revised Funeral Privacy Act this week after the Legislature unanimously responded to the Kansas Supreme Court’s invalidation of a key part of the measure enacted last year.
Designed to put restrictions on the ability of protesters to
demonstrate at funerals – most notably the actions of Topeka’s fringe
Democrat Rev. Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist
Church condemning homosexuality – the law was struck down last
month because it contained a “trigger” provision that said it wouldn’t
go into effect until after the Supreme Court had upheld the law as
The court reasoned that the trigger clause violated the proper separation of governmental powers, placing the judiciary in the role of legislative policymakers, which ironically was the role the court played in the 2005 education funding crisis.
After the court’s decision, legislators quickly responded by introducing the same proposal as last year, but without the trigger provision. The new version was amended into Sub. SB 226 and was led by , D-Wichita, and , R-Garden City.
In a mere two weeks, the bill passed both the House and the Senate without a single dissenting vote and was signed by the governor. The new law becomes effective next Thursday when it is officially published in the Kansas Register.
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