Topeka Justice Edward Larson will retire in September from the Kansas Supreme Court, the first of three members leaving the seven-member court because of mandatory retirement.
Larson, a member of the state's highest court since September 1995, made his announcement Monday. He turns 70 on Aug. 30 and will step down on Sept. 4. His six-year term ends in January.
Before becoming a justice, he was a Court of Appeals judge since 1987 and before that practiced law in Hays starting in 1960.
State law says judges can't serve beyond the end of the term in which they reach age 70.
Two other justices, Fred Six and Tyler Lockett, will also leave the court when their terms end in January. Six, of Lawrence, who joined the court in 1988, already is 70. Lockett, a justice since 1983, reaches that age in December.
Larson's replacement will be named by Gov. Bill Graves, who also could have the chance to name the other two replacements before leaving office in January.
The Supreme Court Nominating Commission presents the governor with three nominees from which he selects the justice. The commission can act up to 60 days prior to a vacancy although it has set no schedule to consider nominees.
Other members of the court include Chief Justice Kay McFarland and Justices Donald Allegrucci, Bob Abbott and Robert Davis.