Your Turn: A community invitation to court’s special session at the Lied Center

On behalf of the Kansas Supreme Court, I am pleased to invite the people of Lawrence and neighboring communities to join the court for a special session Monday, April 1.

The court will hear attorneys present arguments in two cases starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Lied Center at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Right after this special session of about 90 minutes, the court’s seven justices will greet everyone in an informal reception in the Lied Center lobby.

The Supreme Court’s work has always been open to the people of Kansas. But to observe our work during the first 150 years of statehood, people had to come to our courtroom in Topeka. Then in 2011, the court started making community visits to hear cases. Lawrence is our 17th destination during that time.

We know that thousands of people in the Lawrence area are either at work or in school during the day when we typically hold court. We therefore decided to conduct Monday’s session at 6:30 p.m. so more people have the opportunity to attend in person.

Your attendance is important because the Supreme Court and its work are sometimes defined for you by those who simply want to benefit their personal agendas. What they do not mention is a code of judicial conduct that prevents the justices from deciding cases based on politics, special interests, public opinion, or even our own personal beliefs. Instead, we must decide cases based on the law — such as the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Kansas, which we are sworn to support.

As a result, your attendance Monday night will allow you to see for yourself who we are, what we do and how we do it. You will see a sampling of the hundreds of cases that come before the court each year. We want you to hear the arguments that Kansas attorneys make and to listen to the questions the justices ask — with the intent of correctly applying the law. Then you can make up your own mind about your Supreme Court.

My colleagues and I look forward to meeting you April 1.

— Lawton R. Nuss is the chief justice of the Kansas Supreme Court.


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