As engaged community members, it's important—but often difficult—to stay properly informed on the big issues facing our state. Quick news stories, loaded phrases, and incomplete information aren't enough to get the full picture, and can even leave people more confused.

The ACLU of Kansas Hot Topics Series is here to help.

These issues can seem complicated, but they don't have to be overwhelming to understand. Our Legal Team has prepared these explainers to give an easy but thorough explanation on the biggest issues facing Kansas so you can know the background of the issue, what's at stake, and why and how we're fighting for Civil Liberties.

Qualified Immunity

Qualified immunity is a judge-made legal protection that shields government officials from claims of unconstitutional conduct.

May 11, 2022

The Death Penalty

Kansas is one of 27 states that maintains the death penalty. In recent years, several states—including Virginia, a leading death penalty state with a legacy of racial terror and lynchings—have abolished the death penalty. Efforts to remove Kansas’s death penalty are not new.

May 4, 2022

Criminalizing Poverty

Laws that criminalize poverty are a significant issue in Kansas and across the country. Law enforcement routinely targets houseless and impoverished communities for municipal ordinance violations that criminalize basic acts of human existence – like sleeping or asking for food.

March 17, 2022

Stand Your Ground

Sedgwick District Attorney Marc Bennett cited Stand Your Ground laws in his announcement that he would not seek charges against county employees in the death of C.J. Lofton, even after it was medically ruled a homicide. This brought up questions about Stand Your Ground laws in Kansas.

February 9, 2022

Kansas Offender Registration Act

Across the country, people convicted of serious crimes are required to register with the state after completing their sentence. Kansas has some of the strictest requirements for post-sentence registration, which dramatically increases the scope—and harm—of this registry.

February 8, 2022

Terminal Medical Release

ustody of the Kansas Department of Corrections suffering from terminal medical conditions affords people compassion, fairness, and dignity.

February 4, 2022