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United States District Court for the District of Kansas

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District of Kansas
Tenth Circuit
KS Seal.gif
Judges: 5
Posts: 6
Vacancies: 1
Active judges
Chief: John Marten
Senior Judges
Magistrate Judges
Former Judges
(Numbers indicate % of seats vacant.)
More than 40%

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.

The United States Attorney for the District of Kansas represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current district attorney is Barry R. Grissom.[1]

Vacancy warning level

The United States District Court for the District of Kansas's vacancy warning level is yellow. The court currently has one vacancy out of its six posts.

Pending nominations

There are no pending nominations for the United States District Court for the District of Kansas.

Active judges

Article III judges

JudgeBornHomeAppointed byActiveChiefPreceededBachelorsLaw
Chief Judge John Marten1951Topeka, KSClinton 1/4/1996-Present4/22/2014-PresentPatrick KellyWashburn U., B.A., 1973Washburn U. Law, J.D., 1976
Judge Carlos Murguia1957Kansas City, KSClinton 9/22/1999 - PresentSam CrowUniversity of Kansas, B.S., 1979University of Kansas Law, J.D., 1982
Judge Eric Melgren1956Minneola, KS 10/6/2008-PresentMonti BelotWichita State University, 1979Washburn University Law, 1985
Judge Julie Robinson1957Omaha, NBW. Bush 12/31/2001 - PresentGeorge VanBebberUniversity of Kansas, B.S., 1978University of Kansas Law, J.D., 1981
Judge Daniel D. Crabtree1956Kansas City, MissouriObama 4/30/2014-PresentJohn LungstrumOttawa U., B.A., 1978University 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.


Senior judges

JudgeAppointed byActiveChiefSeniorBachelorsLaw
Chief Judge Kathryn VratilH.W. Bush 10/9/1992-4/22/20142008-20144/22/2014-PresentUniversity of Kansas, 1971University of Kansas Law, 1975
Senior Judge Richard D. RogersFord 8/5/1975-1/1/19891/1/1989-PresentKansas State University, 1943University of Kansas Law, 1947
Senior Judge Monti BelotH.W. Bush 11/25/1991-3/4/20083/4/2008-PresentUniversity of Kansas, 1965University of Kansas Law, 1968
Senior Judge Sam CrowReagan 12/10/1981 - 11/15/199611/15/1996 - PresentUniversity of Kansas, B.A., 1949Washburn U. Law, J.D., 1952
Senior Judge John LungstrumH.W. Bush 11/5/1991-11/2/20102001-200711/2/2010-PresentYale University, 1967University 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 judges

Magistrate judge David Waxse
Magistrate judge Gary Sebelius
Magistrate judge Gerald Rushfelt
Magistrate judge James O'Hara
Magistrate judge Kenneth GaleLoyola University, New Orleans, B.A. 1977Washburn U. Law, 1980
Magistrate judge Teresa J. James2014-PresentUniversity of Kansas, 1981University of Kansas, 1984


The Counties of Kansas (click for larger map)

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*
YearStarting case load:Cases filed:Total cases:Cases terminated:Remaining cases:Median time(Criminal)**:Median time(Civil)**:3 Year Civil cases#:Vacant posts:## Trials/Post
2013 2398250749052605 23008.48.2125 (8.8%)1226
2012 2064292449882588 24007.37.8112 (7.2%)1227
2011 2104248545892518 20718.28109 (7.8%)10.924
2010 2286241146972573 21249.18.7104 (7.1%)029
2009 2412240048122503 2309119.261 (4%)032
2008 2290247047602333 24278.79.1127 (8.6%)6.829
2007189625604456236520917.98.6134 (9.3%)028
*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.

Notable cases

For a searchable list of opinions, please see Opinions for the District of Kansas.


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.[5]

Judicial posts

The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the District of Kansas:[5]

Year Statute Total Seats
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.[6][7]

Former judges

For more information about the judges of the District of Kansas, see former federal judges of the District of Kansas.

Federal courthouse

Robert J. Dole Courthouse

KansasCityKSFederalCourthouse.jpg The Robert J. Dole Courthouse is located at 500 State Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas.

Frank Carlson Federal Building

TopekaKSFederalCourthouse.jpg The Frank Carlson Federal Building is located at 444 S.E. Quincy in Topeka, Kansas.

Wichita U.S. Courthouse

WichitaKSFederalCourthouse.jpg The Wichita U.S. Courthouse is located at 401 N. Market in Wichita, Kansas.

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.[8]

See also

External links


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