Kansas residents are subject to Kansas state and U.S. federal laws. Federal laws apply in Kansas as they do across all 50 states. In addition to the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the U.S., federal laws include statutes that are periodically codified in the U.S. Code. Federal laws also include decisions by courts that interpret federal laws. Finally, federal laws include regulations issued by federal administrative agencies to implement federal laws. You can explore federal laws and related resources by visiting the federal law section of the Justia site.
The state of Kansas also has its own state laws. Kansas state laws include the Kansas Constitution, laws passed by the Kansas legislature and periodically codified in the Kansas Statutes, and decisions by courts that interpret Kansas laws.
Comprised of 15 articles, the Kansas Constitution was ratified in 1859, two years before Kansas became a state. It holds an important place in Kansas history because it established that Kansas would not permit slavery, which placed it in the Union during the Civil War. Under Article 14, the Constitution may be amended in two ways. First, either chamber of the Kansas State Legislature can propose an amendment, which will appear on a ballot if two-thirds of each chamber vote in favor. Alternatively, a proposal for a constitutional convention will appear on a ballot if two-thirds of each chamber vote in favor. There is no automatic procedure for placing the constitutional convention question on a ballot.
The Kansas Statutes contain the laws passed by the Kansas legislature. These laws and the provisions of the Kansas Constitution are often interpreted by the Kansas Supreme Court and the Kansas Court of Appeals. The federal Kansas District Court also issues decisions that may affect Kansas residents. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals holds the authority to review decisions by the Kansas District Court. Sometimes the U.S. Supreme Court may review a case that has been appealed from the Tenth Circuit or from the Kansas Supreme Court.