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State of Kansas

History of Reform Efforts: Kansas

Altering Selection Methods

Method of selection and term lengths for judges of the supreme court and district court are outlined in the Kansas Constitution. Any changes must occur through constitutional amendment. Amending the constitution requires a two-thirds vote in the house and senate, followed by approval of a simple majority of voters. Method of selection and term lengths for court of appeals judges are prescribed by statute and thus may be altered by ordinary legislation.

District court judges are elected in any judicial district that has not adopted merit selection. Under the state's constitution, a change to merit selection must be approved by the voters of the district. To adopt merit selection, a petition signed by 5% of the electors of that district must be submitted to the secretary of state. A merit selection proposition is then placed on the ballot in the next general election. The proposition must be passed a majority of voters in that district.