United States District Court for the District of Kansas
- 1 Vacancy warning level
- 2 Active judges
- 3 Jurisdiction
- 4 Caseloads
- 5 Notable cases
- 6 History
- 7 Federal courthouse
- 8 State Supreme Court nominating commission
- 9 See also
- 10 External links
- 11 References
The United States District Court for the District of Kansas is one of ninety-four United States district courts. The district operates out of courthouses in Kansas City, Topeka and When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals based in downtown Denver at the Byron White Federal Courthouse.
Vacancy warning level
There are no pending nominations for the United States District Court for the District of Kansas.
Article III judges
|Chief Judge John Marten||1951||Topeka, KS||Clinton||1/4/1996-Present||4/22/2014-Present||Patrick Kelly||Washburn U., B.A., 1973||Washburn U. Law, J.D., 1976|
|Judge Carlos Murguia||1957||Kansas City, KS||Clinton||9/22/1999 - Present||Sam Crow||University of Kansas, B.S., 1979||University of Kansas Law, J.D., 1982|
|Judge Eric Melgren||1956||Minneola, KS||10/6/2008-Present||Monti Belot||Wichita State University, 1979||Washburn University Law, 1985|
|Judge Julie Robinson||1957||Omaha, NB||W. Bush||12/31/2001 - Present||George VanBebber||University of Kansas, B.S., 1978||University of Kansas Law, J.D., 1981|
|Judge Daniel D. Crabtree||1956||Kansas City, Missouri||Obama||4/30/2014-Present||John Lungstrum||Ottawa U., B.A., 1978||University of Kansas Law, J.D., 1981|
Active Article III judges by appointing political party
This graph displays the percent of active judges by the party of the appointing president and does not reflect how a judge may rule on specific cases or their own political preferences.
|Chief Judge Kathryn Vratil||H.W. Bush||10/9/1992-4/22/2014||2008-2014||4/22/2014-Present||University of Kansas, 1971||University of Kansas Law, 1975|
|Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers||Ford||8/5/1975-1/1/1989||1/1/1989-Present||Kansas State University, 1943||University of Kansas Law, 1947|
|Senior Judge Monti Belot||H.W. Bush||11/25/1991-3/4/2008||3/4/2008-Present||University of Kansas, 1965||University of Kansas Law, 1968|
|Senior Judge Sam Crow||Reagan||12/10/1981 - 11/15/1996||11/15/1996 - Present||University of Kansas, B.A., 1949||Washburn U. Law, J.D., 1952|
|Senior Judge John Lungstrum||H.W. Bush||11/5/1991-11/2/2010||2001-2007||11/2/2010-Present||Yale University, 1967||University of Kansas School of Law, 1970|
Senior judges by appointing political party
This graph displays the percent of senior judges by the party of the appointing president and does not reflect how a judge may rule on specific cases or their own political preferences.
|Magistrate judge David Waxse|
|Magistrate judge Gary Sebelius|
|Magistrate judge Gerald Rushfelt|
|Magistrate judge James O'Hara|
|Magistrate judge Kenneth Gale||Loyola University, New Orleans, B.A. 1977||Washburn U. Law, 1980|
|Magistrate judge Teresa J. James||2014-Present||University of Kansas, 1981||University of Kansas, 1984|
The District of Kansas has original jurisdiction over cases filed within its jurisdiction. These cases can include civil and criminal matters that fall under federal law.
The court's headquarters are in Wichita, with courthouses in Kansas City and Topeka.
|Federal Court Caseload Statistics*|
|Year||Starting case load:||Cases filed:||Total cases:||Cases terminated:||Remaining cases:||Median time(Criminal)**:||Median time(Civil)**:||3 Year Civil cases#:||Vacant posts:##||Trials/Post|
|*All statistics are taken from the Official Federal Courts' Website and reflect the calendar year through September. **Time in months from filing to completion.|
#This statistic includes cases which have been appealed in higher courts. ##This is the total number of months that any judicial posts had spent vacant that year.
For a searchable list of opinions, please see Opinions for the District of Kansas.
| • Kansas abortion clinic regulations (2011)|
|Click for summary→|
|On July 1, 2011, Judge Carlos Murguia issued a temporary restraining order blocking the enforcement of a new Kansas law which outlined requirements for licensing abortion clinics. The justification for the temporary injunction came from the short time frame the state provided clinics to come into compliance with new, strict regulations. The state issued the requirements only two weeks before the clinics had to be in compliance, leaving little time for the clinics to make the major changes required. Clinics argued that the abortion regulations were overbearing, with one group arguing that the law would require them to virtually rebuild their building. They argued that the licensing regulations and the time line were simply an attempt on the part of the governor and the state to criminalize abortion in Kansas. However, abortion opponents argued that the clinics were unsafe and "cite[d] instances of poor medical care, including the case of an abortion doctor in Kansas City, Kan., who lost his license in 2005 after state inspectors found an unclean facility and improperly stored medical supplies."|
| • Government grant scam (2009)|
|Click for summary→|
|On July 22, 2009, Judge Robinson ordered the assets of five Kansas companies frozen over their involvement in a government grant scam.
The judge ordered the asset freeze after the Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit to stop the companies from allegedly deceiving customers into paying for help to obtain non-existent government grants.Prospective customers were sent postcards to buy a grant kit which costs $69 and were called by a telemarketer to purchase additional grant research.
| • David Wittig case (2009)|
Judge(s):Julie Robinson (USA v. Weidner, et al - David C. Wittig, 5:2002-cr-40140)
|Click for summary→|
|In 2009, Judge Robinson presided over the case of David Wittig, the former CEO of Westar Energy. Wittig was found guilty of bank fraud in 2003 when the former CEO extended a $1.5 million loan to Topeka banker Clinton Odell Weidner for a property deal in Arizona. Judge Robinson ruled on that Wittig could be released from prison on September 4, 2009, despite a resolution from federal prosecutors to keep Wittig in jail over an unrelated case awaiting trial.|
The District of Kansas was established by Congress on January 29, 1861, with one post to cover the entire state. Over time, five additional judicial posts were added for a total of 6 current posts.
The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the District of Kansas:
|January 29, 1861||12 Stat. 126||1|
|October 16, 1945||59 Stat. 545||2(1 temporary)|
|1946||Temporary post expired||1|
|August 3, 1949||63 Stat. 493||2|
|May 19, 1961||75 Stat. 80||3|
|March 18, 1966||80 Stat. 75||4(1 temporary)|
|June 2, 1970||84 Stat. 294||4|
|October 20, 1978||92 Stat. 1629||5|
|December 1, 1990||104 Stat. 5089||6(1 temporary)|
Former chief judges
In order to qualify for the office of chief judge in one of the federal courts, a judge must have been in active service on the court for at least one year, be under the age of 65, and have not previously served as chief judge. A vacancy in the office of chief judge is filled by the judge highest in seniority among the group of qualified judges. The chief judge serves for a term of seven years or until age 70, whichever occurs first. The age restrictions are waived if no members of the court would otherwise be qualified for the position. Unlike the Chief Justice of the United States, a chief judge returns to active service after the expiration of his or her term and does not create a vacancy on the bench by the fact of his or her promotion.
For more information about the judges of the District of Kansas, see former federal judges of the District of Kansas.
Robert J. Dole Courthouse
Frank Carlson Federal Building
Wichita U.S. Courthouse
State Supreme Court nominating commission
Lawyers elected by the state bar to the Kansas Supreme Court Nominating Commission may participate in the selection process of Kansas Supreme Court justices. In August 2010, four Kansas voters asked the U.S. District Court in Kansas to stop this practice. The group’s lead attorney, James Bopp Jr., asked the court to issue a restraining order and temporary injunction on the grounds the selection process violated the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. Bopp said it denied ordinary Kansas voters an equal voice in selecting justices for the Kansas Supreme Court.
- United States District Court for the District of Kansas Official Website
- United States Attorney for the District of Kansas Official Website
- Offices of the United States Attorneys, "Official list," accessed April 22, 2014
- Kansas City Star, "Federal judge blocks new abortion Kansas licensing rule," July 1, 2011 (dead link)
- Kansas City Star, "Judge halts activities, freezes assets of Overland Park companies," July 23, 2009 (dead link)
- Topeka Business Journal, "Judge approves Wittig’s release," August 3, 2009
- History of the District of Kansas from the Federal Judicial Center accessed April 22, 2014
- United States Courts, "Frequently Asked Questions"
- United States Courts, "On Being Chief Judge," February 2009
- Kansas Watchdog, "U.S. District Court Asked to Stop Kansas Supreme Court Selection Process," August 26, 2010
|Magistrate judges||David Waxse • Gary Sebelius • Gerald Rushfelt • James O'Hara • Kenneth Gale • Teresa J. James •|
|Former Article III judges||
Wesley Brown • Mark W. Delahay • Archibald Williams • Cassius Gaius Foster • William Cather Hook • John Calvin Pollock • George Thomas McDermott • Richard Joseph Hopkins • Guy Helvering • Delmas Hill • Patrick Kelly • Arthur Mellott • Earl O'Connor • Dale Saffels • Arthur Stanley • Henry Templar • Frank Theis • George VanBebber •
|Former Chief judges|