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State of Kansas

Methods of Judicial Selection: Kansas

Selection of Judges

Number of Judgeships
Supreme Court: 7
Court of Appeals: 12
District Court: 167*
Number of Districts/Circuits
Supreme Court: --
Court of Appeals: --
District Court: 31
Geographic Basis for Selection
Supreme Court: statewide
Court of Appeals: statewide
District Court: district
Method of Selection (full term)
Supreme Court: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission
Court of Appeals: gubernatorial appointment with senate confirmation
District Court: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission (17 districts); partisan election (14 districts)
Length of Term
Supreme Court: 1 yr
Court of Appeals: 1 yr
District Court: 1 yr; 4 yrs
Method of Retention
Supreme Court: retention election
Court of Appeals: retention election
District Court: retention election; reelection
Length of Subsequent Terms
Supreme Court: 6 yrs
Court of Appeals: 4 yrs
District Court: 4 yrs; 4 yrs
Method of Filling Interim Vacancies
Supreme Court: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission
Court of Appeals: gubernatorial appointment with senate confirmation
District Court: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission; gubernatorial appointment
When Interim Judges Stand for Election/Appointment
Supreme Court: next general election after at least 1 yr in office
Court of Appeals: next general election after at least 1 yr in office
District Court: next general election after at least 1 yr in office; next general election
Selection of Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Court: seniority
Court of Appeals: supreme court
District Court: supreme court
Term of Office for Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Court: indefinite
Court of Appeals: indefinite
District Court: 2 yrs
Qualifications
Supreme Court: 30-70 yrs old; 10 yrs active and continuous practice of law in state
Court of Appeals: 30-70 yrs old; 10 yrs active and continuous practice of law in state
District Court: state and district resident; maximum age is 70; member in good standing of state bar > 5 years

Selection and retention methods and term lengths are prescribed by Article 3 of the Kansas Constitution and Chapter 20 of the Kansas Statutes.

*There are also 79 district magistrate judges who preside over the early stages of criminal cases, hear limited civil actions, and handle all juvenile cases. They are not required to be attorneys.