Governor appoints Kenyen J. (KJ) Wall to fill vacancy on the Kansas Supreme Court

Published: Mar. 11, 2020 at 11:48 AM CDT
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Governor Laura Kelly today appointed Kenyen J. (KJ) Wall to the Kansas Supreme Court. Wall will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Chief Justice Lawton Nuss.

"Whether the court is dealing with issues of life and death, the powers of the government, or how we deal with the economic challenges of our time, the Supreme Court demands the best the legal profession has to offer," Kelly said.

"K.J. has an incredible legal mind, a love of the law, and a heart for service. K.J. combines the ability to hear cases fairly and impartially with the ability to remember that the law is about people, not simply words on a page. He will be an excellent addition to our Supreme Court."

Wall is a partner with Forbes Law Group, where he represents rural hospitals and other clients in courts throughout the state. From 2013 to 2015 he served as Deputy General Counsel to the Kansas Supreme Court, handling capital cases and special projects. Before working for the Kansas Supreme Court, Wall had been a private practice litigator in Colorado and was Senior Counsel at Federated Insurance in Owatonna, Minnesota.

Wall was an All-American and national-champion debater at Kansas State University, where he studied communications and graduated in 1993. After receiving his masters in rhetoric at the University of Minnesota in 1996, Wall attended the University of Kansas School of Law, where he graduated Order of the Coif in 2001. Wall began his legal career as a law clerk to United States District Judge John W. Lungstrum.

"Kansas has always been home, and I can think of no better way to serve my state than serving alongside the six dedicated, brilliant justices on our Supreme Court." Wall said.

Kansas Supreme Court Justices are appointed through a merit-based nomination process. When there is a vacancy on the court, the Supreme Court Nominating Commission submits the names of three nominees to the Governor, and the Governor then has 60 days to make the appointment.

To be eligible, a nominee must be at least 30 years old and admitted to practice in Kansas and engaged in the practice of law for at least 10 years, whether as a judge, lawyer or full-time teacher at an accredited law school.

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