Kansas Supreme Court Decisions

Located in Topeka, the Kansas Supreme Court consists of seven justices who serve six-year terms. State law imposes a mandatory retirement age of 70 on each justice, although they can finish an ongoing term if they turn 70 before it ends. To be eligible to serve on the Kansas Supreme Court, a candidate must be at least 30 years old and have actively and continuously practiced law in Kansas for at least 10 years. Under the Kansas Constitution, the Chief Justice of the Court is determined by seniority. In other words, when the current Chief Justice retires, the remaining justice who has served for the longest time on the Court succeeds them automatically.

Rather than electing justices to the Supreme Court, Kansas uses an appointment procedure that is facilitated by a selection commission. Members of the Supreme Court Nominating Commission represent each congressional district in Kansas. The Commission starts the process of selecting a new justice by choosing three candidates to recommend to the Governor of Kansas. The Governor will appoint one of the candidates. A new justice must go through a retention election one year after they are appointed. If they survive the retention election, they can serve a six-year term.

Article 2 of the Kansas Constitution outlines the three methods for removing a justice from the Supreme Court. First, a justice may be removed through an impeachment process if they are found to have engaged in misconduct. The Supreme Court also has the discretion to remove a justice if the commission on judicial qualifications recommends their removal. Finally, the Governor of Kansas has the authority to remove a justice if they become incapacitated.

Browse Opinions From the Kansas Supreme Court

Recent Decisions From the Kansas Supreme Court
State v. Dotson  
Date: July 19, 2024
Docket Number: 125318

Justia Opinion Summary: A few days after Thanksgiving in 2018, Zshavon Malik Dotson shot and killed his friend Ronald "R.J." Marks Jr. at R.J.'s home in Kansas City. Dotson and R.J. had struggled over R.J.'s rifle, and Dotson shot R.J. in the…

State v. Reynolds  
Date: July 12, 2024
Docket Number: 121504

Justia Opinion Summary: Ryan Reynolds broke into his estranged wife's house, armed with a handgun, and confined his wife, their daughter, and his wife's sister-in-law, threatening to kill them. The two women escaped with the child, and police…

Hodes v. Kobach  
Date: July 5, 2024
Docket Number: 124130

Justia Opinion Summary: The case involves a Kansas law, S.B. 95, which effectively bans a common method of second-trimester abortion known as Dilation and Evacuation (D & E), except when necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman or…

State v. Alston  
Date: July 5, 2024
Docket Number: 124471

Justia Opinion Summary: The case involves Davontra Alston, who was convicted of premeditated first-degree murder, felony first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, and criminal discharge of a firearm at an occupied vehicle…

Hodes v. Stanek  
Date: July 5, 2024
Docket Number: 125051

Justia Opinion Summary: The case involves a challenge to a series of statutes and implementing regulations ("Challenged Laws") relating to the licensure of abortion provider facilities in Kansas. The plaintiffs, an abortion care facility and…

State v. Harris  
Date: June 21, 2024
Docket Number: 124844

Justia Opinion Summary: Darrick S. Harris, serving a life sentence for first-degree murder and aggravated battery committed during a prison riot in 1993, petitioned the district court for forensic testing of objects used in the murder under…

State v. Bennett  
Date: June 21, 2024
Docket Number: 125535

Justia Opinion Summary: David Cornell Bennett Jr. pleaded guilty to one count of capital murder and three counts of premeditated first-degree murder in December 2017. As part of the plea agreement, Bennett waived his appellate rights. In June…

State v. Lamia-Beck  
Date: June 14, 2024
Docket Number: 124433

Justia Opinion Summary: Cody Michael Lamia-Beck pleaded no contest to second-degree murder and was sentenced by the district court. However, the court later ruled that the sentence was illegal because it was generated from an incorrect…

In re Maughan
Date: June 14, 2024
Docket Number: 127196
In re Samsel
Date: June 14, 2024
Docket Number: 127197
State v. Moeller  
Date: June 7, 2024
Docket Number: 124611

Justia Opinion Summary: The case involves David Moeller, who was convicted of securities fraud after deceiving an acquaintance into investing $9,500 in a non-existent business. Moeller appealed his conviction, but died during the appeal…

League of Women Voters of Kansas v. Schwab  
Date: May 31, 2024
Docket Number: 124378

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court of Kansas reviewed a case involving the League of Women Voters of Kansas and other organizations against the Kansas Secretary of State and the Kansas Attorney General. The plaintiffs challenged three…

State v. Cantu  
Date: May 10, 2024
Docket Number: 124303

Justia Opinion Summary: The defendant, John R. Cantu, was charged with multiple counts including felony stalking, violation of protection from stalking orders, criminal damage to property, criminal trespass, and felony criminal threat. During…

Jennings v. Shauck  
Date: May 3, 2024
Docket Number: 123495

Justia Opinion Summary: The case revolves around a dispute over the ownership of a purebred show dog named Oscar. The parties involved are Oscar's breeder, Elizabeth "Betsy" Shauck, and Dave Jennings and Emily McLeod, who have raised Oscar…

State v. J.L.J.  
Date: May 3, 2024
Docket Number: 125430

Justia Opinion Summary: The case involves a juvenile, J.L.J., who was charged with first-degree felony murder and several other offenses after he opened fire on a car, killing a 12-year-old boy. J.L.J. was certified for adult prosecution and…

The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.

Some case metadata and case summaries were written with the help of AI, which can produce inaccuracies. You should read the full case before relying on it for legal research purposes.

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