The seven-person Kansas Supreme Court is the state's highest appellate court for civil and criminal cases. Justices are selected by the governor, who receives a list of three individuals submitted by the Supreme Court Nominating Commission for each vacancy.
After the first year in office, a justice is subject to a retention vote in the next general election. If a majority of votes are for retention, the justice remains in office for a six-year term before coming up for retention again.
Here's a quick look at the justices:
Chief Justice Kay McFarland, 69, is a Topeka native and graduate of Washburn University School of Law. The first woman to be elected to a judgeship in Shawnee County, McFarland has served on the court since 1977 and became chief justice in 1995, the only woman to hold the office. Lives in Topeka.
Donald Allegrucci, 67, is a Pittsburg native and graduate of Washburn School of Law. Allegrucci was appointed to the court in 1987 by then-Gov. John Carlin. Allegrucci had served in various judicial and state positions, including a stint as a state senator from 1976 to 1980. Lives in Topeka.
Robert Davis, 65, is a native of Topeka and received his law degree from Georgetown University. Davis served in various judicial positions before being appointed to the court in 1993. Lives in Leavenworth.
Lawton Nuss, 51, is a Salina native and received his law degree from the Kansas University School of Law in 1982. Nuss also received his bachelor's degree from KU and then served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was appointed to the court in 2002. Lives in Topeka.
Marla Luckert, 49, is a native of Goodland and received her law degree from Washburn School of Law. She served as a district court judge before her appointment in 2003 to the court. Lives in Topeka.
Robert Gernon, 51, a native of Sabetha, received his law degree from Washburn School of Law. He served as an appellate judge before being appointed to the court in 2003. Lives in Lawrence.
Carol Beier, 45, is a native of Kansas City, Kan., and received her bachelor's and law degrees from Kansas University. She is the newest member of the court, joining Sept. 5, 2003. Lives in Topeka.