Supreme Court visit to Great Bend for special evening session
The Kansas Supreme Court visited Great Bend April 6 as part of its ongoing outreach to familiarize Kansans with the high court, its work, and the overall role of the Kansas judiciary.
Photos from Supreme Court visit to Great Bend
Great Bend special session fact sheet (PDF)
Great Bend special session booklet (PDF)
It was the Supreme Court's first visit to Great Bend in the court's 161-year history, and it was the 12th time the court heard cases in the evening.
Oral argument and public reception
The public was invited to attend the special session to hear oral arguments in person. Court was in session from 6:30 p.m. to about 8 p.m. in the B-29 Superfortress Conference Room in the Great Bend Events Center. After the session concluded, justices greeted the public in an informal reception at the venue.
The court publishes a booklet for the special session that explains the proceedings and describes the cases. Summaries of the cases to be heard, and briefs filed by the attorneys involved in the cases, follow.
Appeal No. 123,323: State of Kansas v. Rachael Hilyard
Sedgwick County: (Criminal Appeal) A jury convicted Hilyard of first-degree murder in the decapitation death of her boyfriend’s grandmother. The district court sentenced Hilyard to a hard-50 life sentence. Hilyard challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support her conviction and raises other challenges to her conviction and sentence.
No. 124,415: Mark A. Bruce v. Laura Kelly, in her official capacity as Governor of the State of Kansas; Will Lawrence, in his individual capacity as Chief of Staff to Governor Laura Kelly; and Herman T. Jones, in his official and individual capacities as Superintendent of the Kansas Highway Patrol
U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas: (Certified Question) The case involves two questions of law certified to the Kansas Supreme Court by the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. Bruce contends that when his tenure as superintendent of the Kansas Highway Patrol was terminated, he was entitled to return to the rank he held when he was appointed superintendent. Bruce further contends that when his tenure was terminated, he was not returned to rank, but instead was forced to retire, which amounted to a constructive discharge from employment.
Travel docket history
In 2011, the Supreme Court convened outside its Topeka courtroom in the Kansas Judicial Center to mark the state's 150th anniversary. Its first stop was the historic Supreme Court courtroom in the Kansas Statehouse. From there, and through the end of 2011, the court conducted special sessions in Salina, Greensburg, and Wichita. Since then, the court has held special sessions as follows:
2012: Overland Park
2014: Kansas City
2015: Hays and Garden City
2016: Topeka, Hiawatha, and Hutchinson
2017: Winfield and Emporia
2018: Colby and Manhattan
2019: Lawrence and El Dorado
The court suspended its travel docket in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.