Judiciary Project Wrap-up, Day at the Capitol, Mar. 24, 2011
Video by KTKA, Channel 49, Topeka Mar. 31, 2011
"Kansas "Fair Judiciary" Campaign announces success —WIBW, Channel 13, Topeka, news coverage Mar. 31, 2011
LWV:Johnson County Law Day
The League of Women Voters of Johnson County has taken on an ambitious project to help young people learn
how diversity in the judiciary is essential in good government. Cooperating with the Johnson County Bar Association,
the League of Women Voters of Johnson County would like to sponsor students and their parents to participate in
Law Day on Tuesday, May 3, 2011, at the Johnson Co. Courthouse, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Our purpose for this project was to contact young people within the middle school range to inform and educate
them about the opportunities within the local judicial system.
Some time ago all of the school districts within Johnson County were contacted giving them information concerning
this project. Five of the middle schools replied and were given details of the program. A follow-up was made and a
list of 35 students was compiled, along with parents and advisers attending. Our committee consisting of six of our
Board members set to work to put together diversity bags and provide a lunch for the attendees.
Two members of the committee greeted the students and their parents/advisers as they arrived at the Johnson
County courthouse. They were then ushered into a courtroom where the Honorable Judge Stephen Tatum spoke
to them regarding what his job entailed. He spoke to them about how and why he became a judge, what classes
might be of interest to them and the judicial process and courtroom procedures. The students then questioned the
Judge regarding his experiences in the courtroom and cases that he had heard. They were then encouraged to visit
various tables set up within the hallways and attend other programs, such as forensics labs and mock courts, offered
in various parts of the courthouse.
After this conversation with Judge Tatum, the students were given Diversity bags which held pens, literature and wrist
bands sent from National. At this time they also were given lunch boxes and photos were taken for them to keep as
a memento of this Law Day. The final count was twenty-four (24) students attending with at least one parent or adviser.
As this project has officially been completed, it is our hope that this will still give LWVUS more information for this most
important topic. It is LWVJC's hope that we have made a difference in at least one child's life with encouragement
toward a career in the judicial system.
Respectfully submitted, Harriett Anderson, Past President, League of Women Voters of Johnson County, Kansas
The Eisenhower Roots of Judical Diversity: Race and Gender
High School students did research, prepared a report, and summarized their work at the Salina
Public Library's Community Learning Center. Their talk is entitled "The Eisenhower Roots of Judicial
Diversity: Race and Gender," sponsored by the Salina League of Women Voters. The girls focused
on Gender Diversity. The boys focused on Judicial Diversity and Civil Rights. See slide presentations
Appellate judge takes oath of office
Karen Arnold-Burger exchanged the robe of presiding judge of Overland Park Municipal Court for that
of a member of the Kansas Court of Appeals on Friday...
—by Fredrick J. Johnson, Topeka Capital-Journal, 3/5/2011
House would alter judicial selection
Legislation that would allow the governor to appoint judges to the Kansas Court of Appeals, with Senate
confirmation, was debated on the House floor Thursday and passed, on a 67-46 vote, to final action.
—by Fredrick J. Johnson, Topeka Capital-Journal, 2/25/2011
Tacha named dean at Pepperdine Law, by Topeka Capital-Journal, 2/10/2011
Noted Kansan Tacha honored
The Native Sons and Daughters honored Tacha, a Goodland native raised in Scandia, as its
2010 Kansan of the Year. Tacha has been a judge since 1985 for the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
and served as chief judge of the circuit from 2001 to 2008.
—by Tim Hrenchir, Topeka Capital-Journal, January 28, 2011.
High School students did research, prepared a report, and will summarzed their work on Wednesday
evening, January 12, 2011,
at the Salina Public Library's
Community Learning Center. The talk is
entitled "The Eisenhower Roots
of Judicial Diversity:
Race and Gender," sponsored by the Salina
League of Women Voters.
—by Michael Strand, Salina Journal, January 7, 2011
Female appellate judge named
Parkinson selected Karen Arnold-Burger to fill a vacancy on the appellate
court created by the announcement in August that Chief Judge Gary Rulon would retire in January.
—by Tim Carpenter, Topeka Capital-Journal, January 6, 2011
Topekan to join Supreme Court
Topeka resident Nancy Moritz Caplinger will join the state's Supreme Court on Friday during a
special swearing-in session.
—by Topeka Capital-Journal, January 3, 2011
Native Sons and Daughters to honor FDIC Chairman
Sheila Bair, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Deannell Tacha
—by Associated Press, Lawrence Journal-World, December 16, 2010
Voters retain all 4 Kansas Supreme Court Justices
--by Hurst Leviana, Wichita Eagle, November 3, 2010
Nancy Moritz Caplinger to join Kansas Supreme Court
--by Tim Carpenter, Topeka Capital-Journal, November 2, 2010
League of Women Voters of Kansas President Ernestine Krehbiel has issued the following statement:
"The League of Women Voters of Kansas commends the governor for the appointment of Nancy Caplinger
as Justice of the Kansas Supreme Court. This appointment of this knowledgeable and proven judge moves
this court to better mirror the state's population. Courts should reflect the people they serve. We welcome
the opportunity for the Supreme Court of Kansas to better represent the diversity of our state."
LWVK: State Fall League Day, Topeka
The Kansas League held Secretary of State Forum in Topeka on October 30, 2010, as a part of
Fall League Day in Topeka.
It was covered by the press. It took one hour, with Prof. Bob Beatty,
Science department, Washburn University, as
were a panel of three:
Kelli Stegeman from KSNT Channel 27, NBC affiliate;
Ric Anderson from the Topeka
and Brooke Goc president of the Lawrence.
Questions were allowed from the audience
--written on cards and passed in.
The Republican candidate, Kris Kobach, is the author of the AZ immigration law that is currently being
challenged in courts. The Democratic candidate Chris Biggs was appointed by the gov. to fill a vacancy
when R. Ron Thornburgh resigned to take a position in the private sector. 11/2/2010
Here is the news about this event:
Lawrence Journal World
KSNT print media + Video: Heated Debate in Secretary of State Race
[Ellen Estes, LWV member, makes good comment at the end of video.]
Topeka Capital-Journal also covered the debate.
LWV-Topeka & Shawnee County: Quest for a More Diverse Judiciary
Prof. Jeffery Jackson, law professor from Washburn University, and Gwen Elliott, president of
Shawnee County, addressed the Women Attorneys' Association on October 27,
2010, concerning the topic of
judicial diversity and the League's
involvement with its promotion.
There were 22 women attorneys
in attendance, and Prof. Jackson presented
some of the results
of new research that he and two
of his law students have been doing on women judges
Members of the audience also
received Diversity bags and their contents, provided by LWVUS. Oct. 28, 2010
Diversity remains elusive on state high courts
--by Ray Segebrecht, The Kansas City Star, October 1, 2010
The Commission on Judicial Performance was created by the Legislature in 2006
to evaluate all Kansas justices and judges and to publicize the evaluations of the retention election
judges and justices. On the Commissions website under the heading “General Information” you will
find complete information about the evaluations and the process used in evaluating the judges and
justices. Link sent by Randy Hearrell, KSJC http://www.kansasjudicialperformance.org/ Oct. 1, 2010
LWV-Johnson County: Current State of Judiciary in Kansas Judiciary
League of Women Voters of Johnson County held a panel discussion about the current state of affairs
in Kansas regarding diversity in the judicial system, September 23, 2010, Johnson County Central Resource Library,
Overland Park, KS. The panel, in the photo below, included (left to right) District Judge (Ret.) Larry McClain,
District Judge Brenda Cameron, Federal Judge Kathryn Vratil, and Attorney Jon Gray, Former Mo. Circuit
Diane Kuhn reports, "We were very pleased with the balanced presentation and the questions
and answer following." Oct. 1, 2010
Fair Courts in the crossfire --editorial, NYTimes, September 28, 2010
LWV-Topeka & Shawnee County: 90th Birthday Celebration
LWV-Topeka-Shawnee County's annual membershipand fundraising event was held at Garden House,
on the rainySeptember evening. Sept. 23, 2010. Members celebrated the 90th anniversary
Women's Suffrage. Evening events included a silent auction of an
impressive variety of
items donated by members
to raise money for voter registration and political issues goals.
Sept. 26, 2010
Emporia: The Constitution, Dead or Alive?
For Constitution Day, speaker Jack Focht, a lawyer with Foulston Siefkin, LLP in Wichita, spoke on
“The Constitution: Dead or Alive?” He also spoke of whether judges in Kansas should be selected by
merit or by vote.
The photo below is from this Sept. 16, 2010, event at the Colonial Ballroom,
Emporia State University, Emporia. Sept. 16, 2010
Johnson County: Fall Festival Booths
These events attract thousands of visitors. The goal was to educate and possibly recruit citizens in the effort
to promote a more diverse judiciary. These events took place September 9-11, 2010, Olathe Fair; Sept. 25,
2010, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Overland Park Fall Festival, downtown Overland Park. 9/20/2010
left to right:
1st pic - Susan Horst, left and Ellen
2nd pic - Ann Etter
3rd pic - Ellen Miller
Salina: Membership Meeting featuring 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
Justice Deanell Tacha
Justice Tacha spoke on Monday, August 30, 2010, at the Salina Public Library. Support for this presentation was
for the project comes from the
League of Women Voters U.S.
and the Transparency and Integrity
Fund of the Open Society Institute.
Gov. Mark Parkinson selected a former Topeka school teacher and tax court veteran Thursday to fill a trial
judge vacancy in Shawnee County District Court. Rebecca Ann Crotty, of Topeka, will serve as a district
judge in the state's 3rd Judicial District. She replaces Judge Jan Leuenberger, who retired after 15 years
on the bench. Read more. Aug. 20, 2010
Event celebrating 90 years of women having the right to vote.
—by Becky Tanner, Wichita Eagle, Mon., Aug. 16, 2010
LWVUS 2010 national convention
Ten delegates from Kansas attended the
in Atlanta, GA. A photo essay of the
event includes coverage of the
Quest for a More Diverse Judiciary workshop and judiciary speakers. June 2010
Kansas Judicial Branch: A six-member commission is responsible for submitting the names of two or three
nominees to the Kansas Governor for the vacancy which will be created when Shawnee County District
Judge Jan Leuenberger retires effective August 2. He has been a district judge since October 1995. This vacancy
is in the 3rd Judicial District has issued a request for assistance from the public. A news release was issued
June 14, 2010. http://www.kscourts.org/Kansas-Courts/General-Information/news-releases.asp#061410
See PHOTO: Currently, it looks as though there are
only 3 women out of 11 judges on the Kansas Court
Appeals bench. See
The Supreme Court Nominating Commission nominated three persons to fill a vacancy on the Court of
Appeals that was created by the April death of Judge Jerry G. Elliott, Lawrence. If Gov. Parkinson should choose
the woman nominee, it would add a fourth woman to the appeals court bench.
LWV-Topeka & Shawnee County: Topeka Public Schools
Having heard from at least three speakers on the quest for a diverse judiciary topic that part of the answer
for recruiting minority members to the practice of law, and perhaps eventually to the bench, is starting early,
possibly as early as junior high, Topeka/Shawnee County League President, Gwen Elliott, decided to take the
message to her fellow school social workers at Topeka Public Schools, which has by far the highest student
minority representation of the five districts in the Shawnee County. With permission from the coordinator,
Gwen gave a presentation on the judicial diversity project to the entire school social work department,
including workers from all levels of instruction from preschool through high school, on May 20, 2010.
They received the information and the packets with great enthusiasm as reaching minority students is always
a goal of school social workers. In all, Gwen distributed 33 packets to school employees, their contacts, and
spouses, one of whom is a practicing attorney who has minority status, and another of whom is an attorney
who does research for the Kansas Supreme Court and the Kansas Court of Appeals.
LWV-Johnson County, Annual Meeting
Saturday, May 1, Atonement Lutheran Church – 9948 Metcalf
, 9 – 10:30 a.m. – Annual Meeting; 10:30 a.m. – Brunch and Awards
Special Presentations: LWV Essay Scholarship Award recipient Jenna Gottschalk
read her winning essay.
“Making Democracy Work” Award to recipient: U.S. Congressman Dennis Moore
who spoke on “Civility and Citizenship.”
LWV-Wichita: River Festival Sundown Parade, May 7, 2010
LWV-Topeka & Shawnee County: Tuesday Topics, May 4, 2010
Speaker was Mark Dupree, Johnson County, KS, Assistant Public Defender, is a member of the Kansas Bar Association's Diversity Committee
LWVK Council, May 1, 2010, Manhattan, Kansas.
Manhattan: Radio programming —On the April 29, 2010, "Community Bridge," alternative
radio for the Manhattan, Kansas, area offered Jean Lee of the LWV-Manhattan/Riley County, along with
attorney Gabrielle Thompson Prof. John Fliter from K-State discussing the Leagues's Safeguarding U.S.
Democracy: A Quest for a More
and Diverse Judiciary education program. This audio program is available here
Emporia: Law Day at Colonial Ballroom, Emporia State University, April 29, 2010. Keynote
James M Concannon, Distinguished Professor of Law, Washburn Law School. Panelists were
Dr. Barbara Baker, Director of Multicultural Affairs, E.S.U.; Kenneth Buchele, Citizen Member of Judicial
Nominating Committee; and Deborah Huth, President of Lyon/Chase County Bar Association.
Salina: Annual Meeting was held on April 14, 2010, featuring Judge Eric Rosen,
Supreme Court. This event was held
in the dining hall, Stevens Center, St. John's Military School, Salina.
Eric Rosen was
born in Topeka in 1953. He has a Bachelors and Masters Degree with
from Kansas University. His law degree is from
Washburn Univeristy in 1984. Before becoming a judge,
worked in both the District Attorney's and the
Public Defender's offices in Shawnee County, served as
Associate General Counsel for the Kansas Securities
Commissioner and was a partner in the law firm of
Hein, Ebert and Rosen. He served 12 years as a Shawnee
County district judge before being appointed to
the Supreme Court in 2005. He has also served on the Kansas
Sentencing Commission. He received the
Attorney General's Victim Service Award for Outstanding Judge as well
as many other awards and honors,
and serves in many community organizations. His full biography is on-line .
LWV Topeka and Shawnee County president Gwen Elliott spoke
with a group of United
Methodist Women, some of whom are active at the Methodist Conference level, about Judicial Diverity on
Wednesday, April 16, 2010, at Crestview United Methodist Church, Topeka. Attendees enjoyed their
"Safeguarding U.S. Democracy" tote bags.
Saline: Annual Meeting on April 14, 2010,
featuring Kansas Judge Eric Rosen, KS Supreme Court.
Salina: Judicial Diversity Forum at Kansas Wesleyan Unviersity on March 25, 2010, featured
Magistrate Judge Sheila Hochhauser, Court of Appeals Judge Henry Green, Jr.,
Supreme Court Justice Carol Beier,
and moderator Ann Zimmerman. 3-25-2010
Judicial Diversity Forum at KWU Thursday —KSAL Link.com 3-25-2010
KS Supreme Court justice to join panel discussion on diversity ... Fox Network, Kansas City, Channel 4 3-23-2010
The Salina League of Women Voters is sponsoring the event Thursday evening at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina. Luckert is the second woman to serve on ...
Judges to discuss diversity in Kan. court system —Nebraska ABC TV, Channel 4
The Salina League of Women Voters is sponsoring the event Thursday evening ... The panelists will discuss their careers and their views on judicial diversity. 3-23-2010
Kansas Judicial Branch : Supreme Court | Court of Appeals | District Courts | Court Structure Chart
National Center for State Courts: Judicial Salary Resource Center (KANSAS) http://www.ncsconline.org/D_KIS/Salary_Survey/state_inc.asp?STATE=KS
Wichita Eagle editorial opinion,
“Courts need more women judges,” Friday, March 12, 2010, — For the editorial board, Rhonda Holman. Article mentions LWV-Wichita Metro.
Mary Knecht coordinated the project with newspaper editorial staff. 3-12-2010
Wichita: FORUM f
eatureed Judge Karen Humphreys
, Chief Magistrate Judge for the US District Court of Kansas, discussing judicial diversity. Discussion & Reception followed.
Thurs., March 4, 2010, 7:00 p.m., 20th Century Club Auditorium and Parlor, Murdock Theatre
||League of Women Voters-Salina President Ann Zimmerman addressed the Salina City Commission and the Saline County Commission, making statements about the League's 90th birthday (officially, February 14, 2010) and the Kansas Judicial Diversity Project. League members also served the commissioners cake. —Ann Zimmerman, 3/1/2010
Topeka letter-to-the-editor: Judicial diversity
, Topeka Capital-Journal
, Sunday, February 27, 2010, written by Gwen Elliott, President of LWV-TSC. 2-29-2010
League of Women Voters Wichita-Metro held their first Book Club Discussion on Tuesday, February 23, 2010, at the Rockwell Branch of the Library. At least 30 passionate people attended. Dr. Daisy Karagarama lead the discussion. Several people mentioned joining the League of Women Voters, and all were given the Events schedule and invited to the March 4 th presentation by Chief Magistrate Judge Karen Humphreys at the Twentieth Century Club Murdock Theater on North Broadway. —Pat MacDonald,2/28/2010
—from President Ann Zimmerman, LWV-Salina 2-22-2010
Salina: 90th LWV Birthday proclamation:
“ The Salina LWV is here today to celebrate the 90 th birthday of the LWV. The National LWV began in 1920, the same
year that women won the right to vote in national elections. That same year, Kansas was...” —Read more
||League of Women Voters-Lawrence celebrated the League's 90th Birthday on February 18, 2010, with a reception at the
Castle Tea Room, 1307 Massachusetts, Lawrence. Honored guests included
Douglas Co. Nominating Commission, County Commissioners, and Douglas County District Judges.
LWVK celebrates the 90th birthday of LWV at the State Capitol. League leaders from across Kansas helped celebrate the 90th birthday of League at the Kansas State Capitol on Wed., February 17, 2010. Celebration included a visit with Mark Parkinson, Governor of Kansas.
LWV-Salina celebrated the 90th birthday of LWV on February 22, 2010, with birthday cake and a statement about the Judicial Diversity Project to the joint meeting of the Salina City Commission and the Saline County Commission. -Ann Zimmerman President, LWV-Salina, presided.
—from Co President Candy Birch, Johnson County 1-28-2010
Comments to the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners “ The League of Women Voters
of Johnson County is here today on a particular mission. You may recall getting an invitation last October to attend a program called Safeguarding U.S. Democracy: The Quest for a More Diverse Judiciary
. That event marked the beginning of a two-year state-wide effort to draw attention to the diversity (or lack thereof) in our judicial system and to advocate for increased diversity. To that end…” —Read more
—from Ann Zimmerman, President, LWV-Salina
Salina Program Planning Meeting
, at which we spent most of the time making our Judicial Diversity plans. [Choose a thumbnail to see the larger photo.] 2-2-2010
||November 9, 2009
Dear Ms. Arguedas:
I am pleased to report that I have heard nothing but extremely positive comments following the League of Women Voters Kansas League Day Program on October 17. As you are aware, there were members of the Kansas Supreme Court, Court staff, and district judges present. I look forward to the other events that you will be holding in 2010, and hope that my schedule will permit me to attend at least some of them.
I share in your "quest for a more diverse judiciary," and I thank you very much for your continued educational and advocacy efforts.
Robert E. Davis
Safeguarding U.S. Democracy: The Quest for a More Diverse Judiciary
A Judiciary Forum, open to the public, was kick-off event on the Diverse Judiciary issue. The forum was held in Topeka, KS, on Saturday, October 17, 2009. The forum featured the Honorable Rebecca Love Kourlis, Executive Director of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System. Together the League of Women Voters of Kansas and eight local Leagues ( League of Women Voters of Kansas, Emporia, Great Bend, Johnson County, Lawrence/Douglas County, Manhattan/Riley County, Salina, Topeka, and Wichita) focused on the question: “Does the Kansas Judiciary reflect the diversity of our state? If not, why not?”
This audio podcast (59 minutes)
features Hon. Rebecca Kourlis, Executive Director of the Institute for the Advancement of the Legal System
. Hon. Kourlis spoke at the Kansas League of Women Voters forum: "Does the Kansas Judiciary Reflect the Diversity of our State? If Not, Why Not?"
held on 17 October 2009 in Topeka, KS. The forum was the opening of a two-year League project focusing on promoting diversity at all levels of the state judiciary and enhancing the legitimacy of our system of justice in the eyes of an increasingly diverse public. Rebecca Love Kourlis was appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court in 1985 and resigned in 2006 after serving for 11 years. Kourlis authored of more than 200 opinions and dissents during her tenure and spearheaded significant reforms in the court system relating to juries, family law and attorney regulation. MP3 File 11-23-2009