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Nancy Caplinger-Moritz

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Nancy Moritz
Court Information:
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
Title:   Judge
Appointed by:   Barack Obama
Approval vote:   90-3
Active:   5/6/2014-Present
Preceded by:   Deanell Tacha
Past post:   Judge, Kansas Supreme Court
Past term:   2010-2014
Past post 2:   Judge, Kansas Court of Appeals
Past term 2:   2004-2010
Personal History
Born:   3/3/1960
Hometown:   Beloit, Kansas
Undergraduate:   Washburn University, B.B.A., 1982
Law School:   Washburn Law School, J.D., 1985
Candidate 2012:
Candidate for:  Supreme Court
State:  Kansas
Election information 2012:
Incumbent:  Yes
Election date:  November 6, 2012
Retention vote:  666,228
Retention vote %:  70.9% ApprovedA

Nancy M. Caplinger-Moritz is a federal judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Prior to joining the federal court, Caplinger-Moritz was a justice on the Kansas Supreme Court. She was appointed by Governor Mark Parkinson in November 2010.[1][2][3] In August of 2013, President Obama nominated Caplinger-Moritz for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.[4] Nancy Caplinger-Mortiz received confirmation on May 5, 2014, by a Senate vote of 90-3.[5]


Born in Beloit and raised in Tipton, Kan., Moritz attended Washburn University, earning her B.B.A. in 1982 and her J.D. in 1985.[2][6]

Professional career

Judicial career

Tenth Circuit

Nomination Tracker
 Candidate:Nancy Caplinger-Moritz
 Court:Tenth Circuit
 Progress:Confirmed 277 days after nomination.
ApprovedANominated:August 1, 2013
ApprovedAABA Rating:Unanimously Qualified
ApprovedAHearing:November 13, 2013
ApprovedAReported:January 16, 2014 
ApprovedAConfirmed:May 5, 2014
 Vote: 90-3

On August 1, 2013, President Obama nominated Nancy Caplinger-Moritz to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to fill the vacancy left by Deanell Reece Tacha.[4] Obama commented on the nomination, stating:

Michelle T. Friedland, Justice Nancy L. Moritz and John B. Owens will bring an unwavering commitment to fairness and judicial integrity to the federal bench. Their impressive legal careers are testaments to the kind of thoughtful and diligent judges they will be on the Ninth and Tenth Circuits. I am honored to nominate them today.[6][7]

Caplinger-Moritz was rated Unanimously Qualified by the American Bar Association.

Caplinger-Moritz's nomination was returned by the Senate on January 3, 2014, and she was renominated on January 6 by President Obama.[8]

Caplinger-Mortiz was reported to the full Senate on January 16, 2014, after the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced her nomination by voice vote.[9] Nancy Caplinger-Mortiz received confirmation on May 5, 2014, by a Senate vote of 90-3.[10]

Reactions to confirmation

Justice Moritz joins the Tenth U.S. Circuit Court well prepared as the result of a distinguished legal career both in private and public practice, with 10 years of experience as a judge, including more than three as a justice on the Kansas Supreme Court. In addition to her legal experience, Nancy was raised in the close-knit Kansas town of Tipton. I know the people of Tipton well, and I am confident Nancy’s service on the Tenth Circuit will be guided by the values we hold in Kansas, including empathy for others and respect for the rule of law.


—Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), [11]



See also: Kansas judicial elections, 2012

Caplinger-Moritz was retained to the Kansas Court of Appeals with 70.9 percent of the vote in the general election on November 6th.[12]

Political outlook

See also: Political outlook of State Supreme Court Justices

In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 are more liberal. Caplinger-Moritz received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of -0.02, indicating a liberal ideological leaning. This is more liberal than the average CF score of 0.12 that justices received in Kansas. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.[13]

Awards and associations


  • 2007: Superior Achievement in Law Award, Washburn University School of Law
  • 2002, 2001, 2000: United States Attorney's Office Sustained Superior Performance Award
  • 1999: United States Attorney's Office "On the Spot" Award
  • 1998: Kansas Bar Association Outstanding Service Award


  • 2012-Present: Topeka Lawyers' Club
  • 2009-Present: SOABS (Statewide Fraternal Organization of Litigration Attorneys)
  • 2002-Present: Meals on Wheels (Topeka)
  • 2001-2008: Washburn Law School Alumni Association Board of Governors[2]

See also

External links


Political offices
Preceded by:
Deanell Tacha
Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
Succeeded by:

KansasKansas Supreme CourtKansas Court of AppealsKansas District CourtsKansas Municipal CourtsUnited States District Court for the District of KansasUnited States bankruptcy court, District of KansasUnited States Court of Appeals for the Tenth CircuitKansas countiesKansas judicial newsKansas judicial electionsJudicial selection in KansasKansasTemplate.jpg