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The KBA Advocate is the weekly KBA legislative newsletter that contains up-to-date information on legislation that impacts your practice. It is only published when the legislature is in session and is sent to all KBA members electronically via the KBA Weekly.

 

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VOTE

Posted By Joseph N. Molina III, Monday, October 29, 2018

In eight days, Kansans will head to the polls to elect a new governor, four U.S. Representatives, four statewide officials, one state senator and 125 Kansas representatives. The most watched statewide race continues to be the Kansas Governor’s race featuring five tickets. The GOP ticket of Kris Kobach/Wink Hartman vs. Democrats Laura Kelly/Lynn Rodgers vs. Independents Greg Orman/ John Doll. Also, in the mix are Richard and Nathaniel Kloos (I-Topeka) and Jeff Caldwell/Mary Gerlt (L-Leawood).

Fort Hays State University has done a poll on this race in its Kansas Speaks Fall 2018 Statewide Public Opinion Survey. This poll was undertaken for the Citizens of Kansas by the Docking Institute of Public Affairs at Fort Hays State university. The poll can be viewed here: https://www.fhsu.edu/docking/Kansas-Speaks/kansas-speaks-report-fall-2018

However, these are not the only votes you will cast on Nov. 6th.

Seven Courts of Appeals judges and numerous District Court judges are up for retention votes while judges in 14 judicial districts face off in partisan judicial elections. Last week Greg Musil, attorney with Rouse Frets White Goss Gentile Rhodes, P.C. spoke to KCUR 89.3 about judicial retention elections in Kansas and Missouri. This radio broadcast shed some light on how retention elections works. You can listen to the interview here - http://www.kcur.org/post/seg-1-voting-judicial-retention-elections-seg-2-kansas-citys-only-pay-what-you-can-caf#stream/0

In addition, several Kansas judges will face off in partisan judicial elections. Those districts include:

· 13th District

· 14th District

· 15th District

· 16th District

· 17th District

· 18th District

· 19th District

· 20th District

· 22nd District

· 23rd District

· 24th District

· 26th District

· 27th District

· 29th District[2]

Some districts provide information on the judges. For instance, in 18th Judicial District (Sedgwick County) the Wichita Eagle and the Wichita Bar Association do an online survey every two years. They provide the results via website. This year’s survey can be found at https://www.kansas.com/news/special-reports/judging-the-judges/.

In retention elections, district judges do not compete against an opponent; rather, voters have the option to vote “yes” to retain or “no” to remove from the bench. To keep the seat, the judge must receive a majority of “yes” votes. If the judge receives a majority of “no” votes the position becomes vacant.

The 10th Judicial District also provides voter information on judges sitting for retention in that district. The Johnson County Bar Association puts together these judicial evaluations by surveying more than 2,000 Johnson County lawyers. The results can be found at: https://www.jocobar.org/page/judicialevals2018

In the past, evaluations were offered for Kansas Appellate Court judges, but in 2012, those funds were diverted away from the Kansas Commission on Judicial Performance. Since that time, other non-profit associations have tried to take up the evaluation process with some success, but this year, I am unaware of any evaluations for the seven courts of appeals judges up for retention.

The Kansas courts do provide some information on appellate judges. They provide some biographical information, date appointed, hometown and a link to cases in which that judge was involved. http://www.kscourts.org/kansas-courts/court-of-appeals/judge-bios/default.asp.

The Kansas Courts of Appeals judges up for retention include:

Hon. Stephen D. Hill;
Hon. Kim R. Schroeder;
Hon. Henry W. Green Jr.;
Hon. Anthony J. Powell;
Hon. Tom Malone;
Hon. Michael B. Buser;
Hon. Melissa Taylor Standridge

For more information about voting please visit the Kansas Secretary of State website – www.kssos.org. You can find your polling place by entering your information here - https://myvoteinfo.voteks.org/VoterView/PollingPlaceSearch.do

Tags:  Author: Joseph N. Molina III  Court of Appeals  election  House of Representatives  judges  midterms  voting 

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Down Ballot

Posted By Joseph N. Molina III, Tuesday, September 25, 2018

On Tuesday, November 6, Kansans will head to the polls to elect a new governor, four U.S. Representatives, four statewide officials, one state senator and 125 Kansas representatives. These races— especially for governor—will dominate our televisions, radios and mailboxes for the next six weeks. Most of the campaign money will be spent on the nine statewide races, and your individual districts will see thousands of dollars used on local races. What probably won’t get much attention this year is those other candidates down ballot: candidates for court of appeals judges and district court judges—even some individuals running for magistrate judge spots.

Kansas uses three methods to select its judges. The Kansas Supreme Court and over half of all district court judges are picked using the merit selection process. The court of appeals judges are selected using a modified appoint/confirm process, leaving the remainder to be selected via partisan elections in their local jurisdictions. While the selection process differs significantly (Kansas is the only state that uses all three processes) they have one thing in common: to keep your seat, you must appear on the general election ballot. In partisan election districts, a judge may have to face off against an opponent. In districts using the merit selection process, a judge must sit for retention. Either way, to stay on the bench, judges must face the citizens of Kansas and get their votes. See: http://www.kscourts.org/kansas-courts/district-courts/process.asp

Elections of judges in Kansas are very similar to elections for any other office. There is a primary in which the individual with the most votes advances to the general election to face off against the winner from the other party. The winner of the general election takes the bench with a four-year term, after which the process repeats itself.

This year the following districts will hold partisan judicial elections:

· 13th District

· 14th District

· 15th District

· 16th District

· 17th District

· 18th District

· 19th District

· 20th District

· 22nd District

· 23rd District

· 24th District

· 26th District

· 27th District

· 29th District[2]

 

Some districts provide information on the judges. For instance, in the 18th Judicial District (Sedgwick County), the Wichita Eagle and the Wichita Bar Association do an online survey every two years. They provide the results via website. This year’s survey can be found at: https://www.kansas.com/news/special-reports/judging-the-judges/.

In retention elections, district judges do not compete against an opponent; rather, voters have the option to vote “yes” to retain or “no” to remove from the bench. To keep the seat ,the judge must receive a majority of “yes” votes. If the judge receives a majority of “no” votes, the position becomes vacant.

The 10th Judicial District also provides voter information on judges sitting for retention in that district. The Johnson County Bar Association puts together judicial evaluations by surveying over 2,000 Johnson County lawyers. The results can be found at: https://www.jocobar.org/page/judicialevals2018

Kansas Court of Appeals judges must sit for retention every four years (six years for Kansas Supreme Court Justices).  The process is staggered so only seven court of appeals judges face retention each election. As in district judge retention elections, voters have the option to vote “yes” to retain or “no” to remove from the bench. The only difference is, the entire state gets to decide on court of appeals judges.

You can view who is running for Kansas Court of Appeals judge, district court judge or District magistrate judge here: http://www.kssos.org/elections/elections_upcoming_candidate_display.asp

These races are essential to our system of justice, so please take a few more minutes to fill out these down ballot races. 

Tags:  Author: Joseph N. Molina III  election  midterms 

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