Supreme Court: Temporary guardianship in Kansas can’t be used as a basis for criminal prosecution
A US Supreme Court decision allowing Kansas to begin taking temporary guardianship cases has raised questions about the constitutionality of the state’s law, which allows only married couples.
The justices’ decision on Wednesday also raises questions about whether Kansas should be allowed to use temporary guardianships as a substitute for criminal convictions.
Kansas has been in court since the case was filed in June, and on Wednesday, the high court said it would take up the case.
The Kansas Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit said the state has not presented any evidence that permanent guardianship is a “definite and substantial” deterrent against future criminal acts.
It also said that the state is unlikely to succeed on its challenge to the law because it failed to present evidence of a significant deterrent effect.
Kansas, which has a population of more than 1.5 million people, has a system in place for when a judge decides to take temporary guardians, but it only allows for cases involving someone who has been convicted of a crime.
Kansas allows people to petition the court to have a judge temporarily take over their guardianship, but that can only be done when there is an emergency.
“It’s a very difficult decision, but I believe the Supreme Court is going to come to the conclusion that temporary guardians can be used by the Kansas court to help with this process,” said Mark Johnson, a Kansas law professor at Kansas State University.