Newest justice joins Supreme Court

? Within days after becoming the newest member of the Kansas Supreme Court, Justice Lawton Nuss expects to don his black robe and join the other six members hearing arguments in cases.

Nuss, 49, Salina, was sworn in Thursday by Chief Justice Kay McFarland during a special court session. He replaced Edward Larson, who retired in September, as some 250 spectators in the courtroom watched.

After his five children helped him put on his robe, Nuss walked behind the bench, shook hands with each new colleague and took the seat once occupied by Larson.

“Welcome to the court,” McFarland said while shaking his hand.

During his remarks, Nuss said, “I have been given what I truly believe to be the greatest job in Kansas.”

Nuss’ appointment was the first of three Graves is expected to make before leaving office in January.

Larson was the first to leave because of the mandatory retirement age of 70.

Starting Monday, the high court will hear arguments in two dozen cases. The chief justice said the newest member already was up to speed.

“He’ll be fully equipped and prepared to participate starting at 9 a.m. Monday,” she said, adding that he will write three opinions from this month’s cases, as will the other justices.

Nuss brings to the court some 20 years of experience in private practice.

As dozens of well-wishers greeted him after the ceremony, Nuss said he was ready to plunge into the court’s work.

“I’m ready. I’ve been prepping for this,” he said.