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Lisa Weakley


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Stories From Around the State

  • Date:  March 24, 2011

    Location:  Dillon House, Topeka, Kansas

    Event:  Press conference

    Partners:  Kansas Office of Judicial Administration

    The League of Women Voters of Kansas held a press conference in Topeka to share the results of the ongoing education campaign.  The event featured Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton Nuss as keynote speaker (the text of his remarks is now available online), as well as Professor Jeffrey Jackson of Washburn University, who presented the results of his research on gender diversity on the Kansas bench. 

    The conference was covered by local television stations WIBW and KTKA.


  • In January 2011, Professor Jeffrey Jackson of Washburn University School of Law completed a comprehensive gender diversity study of Kansas, commissioned by the League of Women Voters of Kansas, which is now available on the Social Science Research Network.

    Professor Jackson’s research showed that the League’s campaign had been most effective at the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals level, with both courts only recently becoming reasonably gender-diverse.  While many district courts had also attained reasonable gender diversity, the study showed where there is work left to be done: districts where judges are elected and small districts represented by three or fewer judges were most likely to still be non-representative.  Professor Jackson’s findings led him to conclude that, statistically, commission-based selection districts provide better opportunity for female judges to be selected in Kansas.

  • Date: January 12, 2011

    Location:  Salina Public Library’s Community Learning Center, Salina, Kansas

    Partners: Salina Central High School

    Funded by the League of Women Voters of Salina, four Advanced Placement U.S. History high school students at Salina Central High School did extracurricular research on the history of judicial diversity and the civil rights movement at the Eisenhower Library, under the guidance of Salina Central teacher Deidre Hoff.  The students found that Eisenhower's decision to appoint more women and minorities to the federal bench helped lay the foundation for court rulings that expanded civil rights and dismantled segregation.  They presented the result of their research at the event (via Powerpoint presentations).

    The program was covered in the Salina Journal

  • Date: October 28, 2010

    Location:  Kansas Bar Association Offices, Topeka, Kansas

    Partners:  Washburn University, Kansas Bar Association; Women Attorneys Association

    Professor Jeffrey Jackson of Washburn University and Gwen Elliott of the League of Women Voters of Topeka addressed the Kansas Bar Association on the League’s education campaign. 


  • Date: October 16, 2010

    Location:  Great Bend High School, Great Bend, Kansas

    Partners: Great Bend High School

    The League of Women Voters of Great Bend had a meeting with Judge Hannalore Kitts of the 20th Judicial District (Great Bend), who discussed the challenges of being a female in an elected district.  Judge Kitts spoke about how she has to spend a lot of money to run, can't really campaign, and can't talk about why she ruled as she did even when untruthful publicity is given.


  • Date: October 7, 2010

    Location:  Peters Science Hall, Kansas Wesleyan University, Salina, Kansas

    Partners: Kansas Wesleyan University

    The League of Women Voters of Salina held a public lecture featuring Judge Joe Johnson of the Shawnee County District Court, Judge Maritza Segarra of Geary County District Court, and Judge Jennifer Jones of Wichita Municipal Court.  The judges asked, “We’ve got one country, one flag, one Constitution. Why do we need a diverse judiciary?” Pointing to individual students and commanding them to “come on down,” Judge Johnson positioned four at the front of the lecture hall in role plays, challenging those present to imagine what a black man charged with rape of a white woman might feel facing an all-white prosecutor, judge, and jury—or how a battered mother of four might feel about justice if she faced an all-male prosecutor, judge, and jury as she pressed her claim in court against her divorcing husband—a respected physician.