First Hispanic Kansan from Topeka confirmed to the state Court of Appeals
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The first Hispanic Kansan has been confirmed to the Kansas Court of Appeals.
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has appointed Judge Rachel L. Pickering, of Topeka, to join the Kansas Court of Appeals, and the Kansas Senate has unanimously confirmed her appointment on Thursday, January 19. According to Kelly, Pickering is the first Hispanic Kansan appointed to the court.
“I am pleased the Kansas Senate confirmed Judge Pickering,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Rachel is a committed public servant as an attorney and judge. Her experience in nearly every area of criminal litigation will provide her with great insight as she serves the Kansas Court of Appeals.”
Pickering’s past experiences include serving as the District Judge in the Third Judicial District in Shawnee Co., as a criminal defense attorney, as a prosecutor, as an Appellate Defender, as a Public Defender, as an Assistant District Attorney, and as an Assistant Solicitor General. She is currently serving as the District 10 Representative for the National Association of Women Judges, is involved with the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section, and has previously served as the President of the Women’s Attorney’s Association of Topeka and has finished a term as President of the Hon. Sam A. Crow American Inn of Court.
Since 2018, Pickering has been an adjunct professor at Washburn University’s School of Law. She has taught multiple courses about appellate practice and criminal law in continuing legal education for attorneys and judges; she has even coached Washburn’s moot court teams.
In 2023, she graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law with a certificate in e-commerce and intellectual property and her Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 1994. Her third year in law school was spent as a visiting student at the University of Kansas School of Law.
Governor Kelly’s office also provided a list of all appointments confirmed by the Kansas Senate:
- Ray Walling, State Librarian
- Blake Benson, Pittsburg, Kansas Board of Regents
- John B. Dicus, Topeka, Kansas Board of Regents
- Diana Mendoza, Dodge City, Kansas Board of Regents
- Anne St. Peter, KU Hospital Authority Board of Directors
The following reappointments were also confirmed:
- Erica Andrade, State Board of Indigent’s Defense Services
- Dr. Michael Birzer, State Board of Indigent’s Defense Services
- Patricia Hudgins, State Board of Indigent’s Defense Services
- Pete Brungardt, State Lottery Commission
- Dr. Talal Khan, KU Hospital Authority Board of Directors
- Rick Wiley, Public Employee Relations Board
- Steve Bowser, Pooled Money Investment Board
- Harold Schorn, Kansas Human Rights Commission
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