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TOPEKA—The Supreme Court Nominating Commission is accepting nominees for a vacancy on the Kansas Supreme Court created by Justice Carol Beier's September 18 retirement.

Beier's retirement triggers a merit-based nomination process that Kansans voted to add to the Kansas Constitution in 1958. The process involves the Supreme Court Nominating Commission, which reviews nominees, and the governor, who makes the appointments.  

Application process

Applications must be received by the clerk of the appellate courts' office by noon, September 2, and be on the application form from the judicial branch website or from the clerk of the appellate courts office in the Kansas Judicial Center in Topeka.

Applications may be submitted by email, mail, or hand-delivered. They will not be accepted by fax.

If submitted by email, completed applications with an original signature are to be sent to scnc@kscourts.org.

If submitting a paper application, an original and one copy must be hand-delivered or mailed to:

Douglas T. Shima
Clerk of the Appellate Courts
Kansas Judicial Center
301 SW 10th Ave., Room 107
Topeka KS 66612-1507

Merit-based selection process

When there is a vacancy on the court, the Supreme Court Nominating Commission reviews applications and conducts public interviews of nominees. The commission narrows the nominee pool to three names that it sends to the governor. The governor chooses one nominee to appoint.

The nominating commission will announce when it will convene to interview applicants. Interviews are open to the public.

Nominating commission

The Supreme Court Nominating Commission has nine members. There is one lawyer and one nonlawyer from each of the state’s four congressional districts, plus one lawyer who serves as chairperson.

Nonlawyers are appointed by the governor. Lawyers are elected by other lawyers within their congressional districts. The chairperson is elected by lawyers statewide.

The commission has two new members. Lawyers in the 3rd Congressional District elected Katie McClaflin of Overland Park, and Governor Laura Kelly appointed Carol Marinovich of Kansas City, Kansas.

Eligibility requirements

A nominee for justice must be:

  • at least 30 years old; and

  • a lawyer admitted to practice in Kansas and engaged in the practice of law for at least 10 years, whether as a lawyer, judge, or full-time teacher at an accredited law school.

Selection criteria

When the Supreme Court Nominating Commission reviews nominees for justice, they look at the person’s:

  • legal and judicial experience;

  • educational background;

  • character and ethics;

  • temperament;

  • service to the community;

  • impartiality; and

  • respect of colleagues.

Judicial conduct

Justices must follow the law and not be influenced by politics, special interest groups, public opinion, or their own personal beliefs.

Justices demonstrate their accountability by following a Code of Judicial Conduct that establishes standards of ethical behavior. They also take an oath of office that includes swearing to support, protect, and defend the U.S. Constitution and Kansas Constitution.

Retention elections

After a new justice serves one year on the court, he or she must stand for a retention vote in the next general election to remain in the position. If retained, the justice serves a six-year term.

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