Following visits to the Barton County and Rice County courthouses Thursday morning, Kansas Supreme Court Justices Lawton Nuss and Marla Luckert made a stop in Larned, where they met with area residents at the Sts. Mary and Martha Episcopal Church. They were hosted by District 24 Magistrate Judge Julie Fletcher Cowell.
Nuss and Luckert fielded many questions from those in attendance, providing answers where possible. During this recent tour, the justices have been asked often about the pending school finance hearings. Nuss said that they were not at liberty to comment on the case because it had not yet been settled.
What he could share was his response to one man from McPherson, who inquired why it is taking so long to come up with an answer to the school finance question.
“We only received the latest brief six weeks ago,” Nuss said. “The hearing is coming up on Sept. 21. And there are nearly a thousand pages worth of documents that must be read between now and then.”
Add to that the fact that all cases heard by the Supreme Court must be heard by all the judges, and that there are several cases at any one time that need to be handled. In the past four years, Nuss said, the justices have heard approximately 3,000 cases altogether.
Coming up on October 4, Nuss, Luckert, and the rest of the Kansas Supreme Court will hold a special session at Hutchinson. While the justices have been holding special sessions around the state since the sesquicentennial in 2011, this will be their first visit to Hutchinson. They will meet from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. in the B.J. Warner Recital Hall in Hutchinson Community College’s Stringer Fine Arts Center.
Nuss shared that he has chosen one criminal case and one civil case. This was done by design in order for the public to have a chance to witness both types of proceedings. Follwoing the conclusion of both hearings, the justices will conduct an informal visit with the public in a room next to the recital hall, where vistors will have a chance to ask questions, much like during their visits on Thursday.