Kansas Judicial Branch Home
Appellate Clerk
Kansas Judicial Branch

Clerk of the Appellate Courts
Kansas Judicial Center
301 SW 10th Avenue, Room 374
Topeka Kansas 66612-1507
Telephone:  785.296.3229
Fax:  785.296.1028
Email: appellateclerk@kscourts.org

Nominating Commissions

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court Nominating Commission is an independent constitutional body created by the Kansas Constitution, art. 3, § 5(g), and governed by K.S.A. 20-119 et seq.

The Commission is a nine-member board responsible for recommending qualified individuals for appointment to the Kansas Supreme Court and the Kansas Court of Appeals. Four of the Commission's members are non-attorneys appointed by the Governor; four others are attorneys selected by attorneys in each of the State's four Congressional Districts. The Chair of the Commission is an attorney elected by attorneys in a statewide vote.

The Commission sends the names of three qualified individuals to the Governor for each vacancy. The Governor interviews the candidates and makes the appointment. The justices and judges then stand for retention, six years for a Supreme Court justice and four years for a Court of Appeals judge.

Judicial Districts
Judges of the district court are selected in one of two ways in Kansas, either by merit selection and retention vote, or by partisan ballot.  In some districts, the voters have approved nonpartisan merit selection of judges.  In other districts, judges run for office on a partisan ballot.  Judges serve terms of four years.

In a merit selection district, when a vacancy in a district judgeship occurs a judicial nominating commission interviews candidates and recommends two or three persons to the governor for consideration. The governor then appoints one of these as a judge to fill the vacancy.  When there is a vacancy in a district magistrate judgeship, the district judicial nominating commission selects a candidate to fill the vacancy.  All judges appointed via merit selection stand for retention at four year intervals beginning with the first general election after they have been in office for one year.

Judicial nominating commissions are made up of lawyers and nonlawyers who live in the district. Lawyer members of the nominating commission are elected by fellow attorneys, while nonlawyer members are appointed by the local county commissions in the judicial District.  Following are links for each of the judicial districts that use the merit selection process for selecting judges.

Judicial District Nominating Commissions' Links
1st Judicial District
(Atchison & Leavenworth)
7th Judicial District
21st Judicial District
(Clay, Riley )
2nd Judicial District
(Jackson, Jefferson,
Pottawatomie, Wabaunsee)
8th Judicial District
(Dickinson, Geary,
Marion, Morris)
25th Judicial District
(Finney, Greeley, Hamilton, Kearny, Scott, Wichita)
3rd Judicial District
9th Judicial District
(Harvey, McPherson)
28th Judicial District
(Ottawa & Saline)
4th Judicial District
(Anderson, Coffey,
Franklin, Osage )
10th Judicial District
30th Judicial District
(Barber, Harper, Kingman, Pratt, Sumner)
5th Judicial District
(Chase, Lyon)
11th Judicial District
(Cherokee, Crawford, Labette)
31st Judicial District
(Allen, Neosho, Wilson, Woodson)
6th Judicial District
(Bourbon, Linn, Miami)
12th Judicial District
(Cloud, Jewell, Lincoln, Mitchell, Republic, Washington)