Jurist sees challenges ahead for High Court


State News

December 24, 2019 - 10:17 AM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas’ new chief justice plans to push for changes aimed at helping veterans and the mentally ill, and expects to press for a big budget increase from a Republican-controlled Legislature that’s likely to remain sharply critical of the state Supreme Court.

Chief Justice Marla Luckert became the Kansas court system’s top official — and the second woman to hold the job — upon former Chief Justice Lawton Nuss’ retirement last week. Her promotion came a day after Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly made her first appointment to the seven-member court, and Kelly is set to make another by mid-March.

Luckert, 64, said in an Associated Press interview she wants the state to expand special courts to handle criminal cases involving veterans, drug offenders and the mentally ill to focus more on treating their underlying problems.

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