Although it is temporarily out of service, the Kansas Commission on Judicial Performance has evaluated judges and justices across the state, making most of its findings available to the public. With some of these officials on the November ballot, these reports could be beneficial to voters, said Donna Zimmerman, Barton County election officer.
By going to kansasjudicialperformance.org/, these archived evaluations can be seen.
Below is a list of the Supreme Court justices and Court of Appeals judges that will appear on the ballot in Barton County. The ones with an asterisks (*) have an evaluation on the KCJP site.
• Nancy L. Moritz, Supreme Court justice, Position 7
• Steve Leben, Court of Appeals judge, Position 2*
• G. Joseph Pierron Jr., Court of Appeals judge, Position 3*
• David E. Bruns , Court of Appeals judge, Position 6*
• G. Gordon Atcheson, Court of Appeals judge, Position 8
• Karen Arnold-Burger, Court of Appeals judge, Position 9
• Richard D. Greene, Court of Appeals judge, Position 10*
However, according to the commission’s website, since July 1, 2011, the Legislature has not allocated any funding for the commission, so the program has been temporarily discontinued and there are no new evaluation reports available for judges subject to retention election in 2012.
That is why some of the judges listed above have no evaluation, a commission spokespersons said. They had come to the bench recently enough that they had not been evaluated at the time the funding for the commission had been dropped.
None the less, archived evaluations from 2008 and 2010 remain available for informational purposes.
The commission was created in 2006 by the Kansas Legislature to improve the performance of individual judges and the judiciary as a whole. In 2008 and 2010, the evaluations of all of the state court trial and appellate judges were provided to the judges and justices for self-improvement.
In addition, for appointed judges and justices who were subject to retention elections, the commission’s evaluations were disseminated to the public to help voters make informed decisions about whether to keep those judges and justices in office.
District court judges and district magistrate judges serving judicial districts are chosen in political elections. In compliance with Kansas law, results of judicial performance evaluation surveys on politically-elected judges are provided to the judges for self improvement but are not released to the public.