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Kansas Supreme Court: Special Session

Kansas Supreme Court: Special Session

Date:  March 30, 2017 (Thursday)
Time:  6:30 p.m.
Admission:  FREE

The Kansas Supreme Court will conduct a special evening session Thursday, March 30, at Southwestern College in Winfield. The special session is part of ongoing outreach to familiarize Kansans with the high court, its work, and the overall role of the Kansas judiciary.

The court will be in session from 6:30 p.m. to about 8 p.m. March 30 in the Richardson Performing Arts Center located in the Christy Administration Building on the Southwestern College campus at 100 College Street.

Kansas Supreme CourtPictured seated (l to r): Justice Marla J. Luckert; Chief Justice Lawton R. Nuss; and Justice Carol A. Beier. Standing (l to r): Justice Dan Biles; Justice Eric S. Rosen; Justice Lee A. Johnson; and Justice Caleb Stegall.

 

It will be the Supreme Court’s first visit to Winfield in the court’s 156-year history and it will be only the sixth time that the court will hear cases in the evening.

The public is invited to attend the special session to observe the court as it hears oral arguments in two cases to be announced soon. After the hearing concludes, the justices will greet the public in an informal reception in the lobby adjacent to the performing arts center. 

The event is expected to be important for its educational role, both at the college and in the community.

“Opportunities for students to meet with sitting judges and justices are as rare as they are valuable,” says Chris Barker, assistant professor of political science at SC. “This is a particularly important opportunity for dialogue. Not only do students get a chance to talk in person with a legal practitioner, but they also have the chance to ‘think judicially’ in a world of partisan politics, policy debates, and party divisions. The very distance of the judicial perspective from the regular push and pull of political life offers a valuable new vantage for students.” 

“Community visits are a great way for the people of Kansas to get to know us — to see who we are and what we do — and to learn about the judiciary’s role in our society,” said Chief Justice Lawton Nuss. “We encourage anyone who’s ever been curious about Supreme Court proceedings to attend. We continue to provide live webcasts of all our courtroom sessions in the Kansas Judicial Center in Topeka, but people tell us there’s nothing like seeing proceedings in person.”

The Supreme Court has conducted several special sessions outside its Topeka courtroom since 2011, when it marked the state sesquicentennial by convening in the historic Supreme Court courtroom in the Kansas Statehouse. From there, and through the end of 2011, the court conducted special sessions in Salina, Greensburg, and Wichita. Since then, the court has had sessions in Garden City, Hays, Hiawatha, Hutchinson, Kansas City, Overland Park, Pittsburg and Topeka. 

The court started conducting evening sessions when it visited Hays in April 2015. That event drew a crowd of nearly 700 people. Subsequent evening sessions have also drawn crowds numbering in the hundreds. 

Details about the court’s visit to Winfield are available by following a link on the court's website at www.kscourts.org. As the session date approaches cases to be heard will be listed on the docket, also found at the court’s website.

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