On The Ballot:  6 Supreme Court Justices & 7 Court of Appeals Judges 

Our Vote: Yes to Retain All

Our Why:  We don't want 13 state level judges appointed by Derek Schmidt.
We also want to retain judges who ruled that Kansans have a constitutional right to bodily autonomy including the right to terminate a pregnancy, protect our checks and balances, and keep messaging simple and effective.

What we know:

 

  • Judges are appointed by the Governor and Kansans vote on their retention.

  • Judges are almost always retained. 

Source: A comprehensive study of retention elections across ten states from 1964-2006, found that less than 1% of judges were not retained with only 56 of the 6,306 judges running in retention elections not being retained. 

Larry Aspin, Judicial Retention Election Trends: 1964-2006, 90 JUDICATURE 208,210 (2007) as referenced on Page 627 Paragraph 2 Line 6 of Tarr, G. Alan. "Do retention elections work." Mo. L. Rev. 74 (2009): 605.

  • The Governor is up for re-election so we currently do not know what we could get in new judges.

The Republican candidate for Governor, Derek Schmidt, supported the "Value Them Both" Amendment.

(Source: AG Derek Schmidt statement on U.S. Supreme Court decision in abortion case)

  • 6 of 7 Kansas Supreme Court Justices are up for retention along with 7 of 14 Kansas Court of Appeals judges. Altogether, if these judges are not retained, we could get up to 13 state level judges appointed by the next Governor, which could be Derek Schmidt.

 

  • As Attorney General, Schmidt elevated the Hodes & Nausser decision to the Court of Appeals and then to the Kansas Supreme Court.  We see this as an attempt by Schmidt to uphold a ban on dilation and evacuation, a procedure that is sometimes the safest option when an abortion is needed and is also a common procedure used to remove pregnancy tissue after a miscarriage. 

  •  We don't want 13 state level judges appointed by an anti-abortion Governor. 

  • Even if we were confident that Laura Kelly would win the Governorship, we believe simple messaging works best. Asking folks to retain all judges is simpler than asking them to vote yes on some and no on others, particularly in a year with so much on the ballot.

If you would like to read the court opinions on the case regarding the Kansas Constitutional Right to Abortion, Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt, click to review rulings of Kansas Court of Appeals (2016) and Kansas Supreme Court (2019). Note that all judges and justices up for retention were not necessarily serving at the time of these opinions and that these opinions are long, nuanced, and not easy to read. Remember, our simple advice to voters is to vote yes and retain all.

Kansas Supreme Court Justices on the Ballot (click any name to learn more)

Daniel Biles 

Appointed by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) in 2009

2019 Supreme Court Ruling on Abortion as a Constitutional Right: Concurring with Majority Opinion

Ballotpedia partisan confidence score:  Mild Democrat 

Evelyn Z. Wilson 

Appointed by Gov. Laura Kelly (D) in 2019

2019 Supreme Court Ruling on Abortion as a Constitutional Right: Not yet appointed

Ballotpedia partisan confidence score:  Mild Democrat 

Marla Luckert 

Appointed by Gov. Bill Graves (R) in 2002

2019 Supreme Court Ruling on Abortion as a Constitutional Right: Majority Opinion

Ballotpedia partisan confidence score:  Mild Republican 

Keynen Wall 

Appointed by Gov. Laura Kelly (D) in 2020

2019 Supreme Court Ruling on Abortion as a Constitutional Right: Not yet appointed

Ballotpedia partisan confidence score: None Given, New Appointee

Caleb Stegall 

Appointed by Gov. Sam Brownback (R) in 2014

2019 Supreme Court Ruling on Abortion as a Constitutional Right:  Dissented 

Ballotpedia partisan confidence score:  Strong Republican 

Melissa Standridge 

Appointed by Gov. Laura Kelly (D) in 2020

2019 Supreme Court Ruling on Abortion as a Constitutional Right: Not yet appointed

Ballotpedia partisan confidence score: None Given, New Appointee

Kansas Court of Appeals Judges on the Ballot (click any name to learn more)

Lesley Ann Isherwood

Appointed by Gov. Laura Kelly (D) in 2021


Kim R. Schroeder

Appointed by Gov. Sam Brownback (R) in 2013


Stephen Hill

Appointed by Gov. Kathleen Sebelious (D) in 2003


Thomas E. Malone

​ ​Appointed by Gov. Kathleen Sebelious (D) in 2003


Henry Green

Appointed by Gov. Joan Finney (D) in 1993


Amy Cline

Appointed by Gov. Laura Kelly (D) in 2021


Jacy Hurst

Appointed by Gov. Laura Kelly (D) in 2021

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