94: Courting Voters - Pt 4: A Fair Fight for a Fair Court

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On October 4th, the justices on the Kansas Supreme Court traveled to Hutchinson, a small town in central Kansas. The seven men and women donned their black robes and took the bench in a community college auditorium to hear oral arguments in upcoming cases. This is pretty much the extent of campaigning the justices are allowed to do and for more than 50 years this has been enough.

But this year, many people in Kansas say they are disillusioned by several rulings the justices on Kansas’ highest court have made and now, they want to boot four of the five justices on the ballot, from the bench. Never before has a sitting justice on the Kansas Supreme Court not won a retention election. But as we all bear witness, 2016 is a different sort of election year.

In Part 4 of our A Fair Fight for a Fair Court series, Life of the Law reporter Ashley Cleek takes us to Kansas for COURTING VOTERS.


Courting Voters was reported by Ashley Cleek and edited by Nancy Mullane with sound design and production by Shani Aviram. Our Post Production Editors are Kirsten Jusewicz-Haidle and Rachael Cain. Ceil Muller and Howard Gelman of KQED in San Francisco and Paul Ruest of Argot Studios in New York were our sound engineers.

Special Thanks to Hutchinson Community College and Lisa Taylor at the Kansas Supreme Court and Professor James Gibson of the American University for his scholarly advice.

Full Transcript of Courting Voters