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State of Kansas

Judicial Campaigns and Elections: Kansas

Campaign Conduct

According to Canon 4 of Kansas' code of judicial conduct, judicial candidates shall not:
  • Knowingly, or with reckless disregard for the truth, make any false or misleading statement.

  • Make any statement that would reasonably be expected to affect the outcome or impair the fairness of a matter pending or impending in any court.

  • In connection with cases, controversies, or issues that are likely to come before the court, make pledges, promises, or commitments that are inconsistent with the impartial performance of the adjudicative duties of the office.

In 2006, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the "pledges and promises" and "commit" clauses, as well as the prohibition on personally soliciting campaign contributions and public support. Kansas Judicial Watch v. Stout, 440 F.Supp.2d 1209 (D.Kan. 2006). The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit vacated the injunction as it related to the public support restriction in the solicitation clause, finding that the district court's order went beyond the scope of the plaintiff's challenge. In Yost v. Stout (D.Kan. 2008), another federal judge held unconstitutional the prohibition on personally soliciting campaign contributions. These clauses were omitted when the code was amended in 2009.

Candidates for retention may establish a campaign committee no earlier than one year before the retention election. Campaign committees of candidates for both retention and partisan election may not solicit or accept campaign contributions more than one year before the election, or more than 90 days after the election.