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
In re I.A.  
Date: July 23, 2021
Docket Number: 118802

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court dismissed for lack of jurisdiction this appeal brought approximately nineteen years after a district court adjudicated I.A. as a juvenile offender, holding that due process and procedural fairness did n...

State v. Dooley  
Date: July 23, 2021
Docket Number: 120863

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the judgment of the district court revoking Defendant's probation and ordering him to serve his underlying sentence, holding that the district cou...

State v. Knapp  
Date: July 23, 2021
Docket Number: 121316

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of first-degree murder and two counts of interference with a law enforcement officer and his controlling hard fifty sentence, holding that the district court's evidentiar...

State v. Hillard  
Date: July 23, 2021
Docket Number: 121715

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed in part and affirmed in part Defendant's convictions for premeditated first-degree murder, felony murder (in the alternative), two counts of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery, conspirac...

State ex rel. Secretary, Department for Children & Families v. M.R.B.  
Date: July 23, 2021
Docket Number: 122696

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the opinion of the court of appeals panel reversing the decision of the district court denying Father's motion to modify residential custody of his daughter, J.F., holding that the panel's deci...

Hanson v. Kansas Corp. Commission  
Date: July 16, 2021
Docket Number: 119834

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the lower courts that a natural gas utility company's invoicing practice was "unjust, unreasonable, [or] unfair" under Kan. Stat. Ann. 66-1,206(a), holding that the lower courts...

State v. Liles  
Date: July 16, 2021
Docket Number: 121459

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions and sentences stemming from three murders at her home, holding that none of Defendant's allegations of error warranted reversal of her convictions. A jury convicted Def...

In re Kenney
Date: July 16, 2021
Docket Number: 123589
State v. Young  
Date: July 9, 2021
Docket Number: 119265

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals to dismiss this appeal of a judgment of conviction, holding that the court of appeals correctly held that it lacked jurisdiction over Defendant's appeal. D...

State v. Hutto  
Date: July 9, 2021
Docket Number: 122630

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court denying Defendant's motion to withdraw his plea of guilty to two counts of felony first-degree murder, holding that Defendant failed to prove manifest injustice...

Baker v. Hayden  
Date: July 2, 2021
Docket Number: 117989

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court dismissed this appeal concerning whether the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA), Kan. Stat. Ann. 45-215 et seq., requires a Kansas district court to make audio records of open court proceedings available fo...

State v. R.H.  
Date: July 2, 2021
Docket Numbers: 119881, 119,885

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying Appellant's motion to correct an illegal sentence under Kan. Stat. Ann. 22-3504 asserting that his sentence was unconstitutional, holding that the Leg...

State v. Douglas  
Date: July 2, 2021
Docket Number: 122895

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions on three counts of first-degree premeditated murder, holding that Defendant was not entitled to relief on his two instructional error claims and his one prosecutorial er...

State v. Marks  
Date: July 2, 2021
Docket Number: 123034

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying Appellant's postconviction motion to compel the production of records related to his criminal case, holding that there was no basis for the discovery...

In re Bennett
Date: July 1, 2021
Docket Number: 20778
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