Gov. Kelly Nominates Jack to Court of Appeals

Today Governor Laura Kelly nominated Judge Jeffry Jack to fill the vacancy created by retired Court of Appeals Judge Patrick McAnany. Judge Jack has been a district judge in Labette County in the Eleventh Judicial District since 2005.

“I’m pleased and proud to nominate Judge Jack to the Court of Appeals,” said Kelly. “Our judges must ensure that every Kansan who encounters our courts is treated fairly under the law. That requires integrity, impartiality, and a sense of how our courts impact the lives of Kansans every day. Judge Jack will bring those qualities to the Court of Appeals.”

Jack has led a distinguished legal career, as a lawyer, a legislator, and a judge. He is a fifth-generation resident of Labette County and was raised in Altamont. After graduating cum laude from Harvard University in 1983, Jack attended the University of Kansas School of Law. He began his legal career in Parsons with Dearth & Markham, Chartered, and continued in private practice until 2005.

In 2002, Jack was elected to the House of Representatives representing the Seventh District. He was re-elected in 2004 and served three years in the House before Governor Kathleen Sebelius appointed him to the district court in 2005. Judge Jack has constantly been active in his community and is on the boards of the Kansas Health Foundation and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Labette County.

“I’m honored and humbled to have the opportunity to serve as a judge on the Court of Appeals,” Jack said. “While I know my experience has prepared me for this position, I look forward to working with and learning from the example of judges who have come before me. Judge McAnany leaves an impressive legacy on the court, and like me he served as a trial judge before joining the Court of Appeals. I hope my perspective as a lifelong resident of southeast Kansas and my experience as a legislator and trial court judge will make me not just a valuable colleague but also a good steward of the public trust the Court of Appeals holds.”

Judge Jack’s nomination is subject to Senate confirmation and his nomination materials are being forwarded to the Senate today. Prior to 2013, Court of Appeals judges were not subject to Senate confirmation and were selected by the governor from a group of finalists named by the Supreme Court Nominating Commission.

“Because I value transparency and the judicial merit-selection process, one of my first acts after my election was to create a committee of knowledgeable lawyers and non-lawyers to recommend finalists for the Court of Appeals vacancy,” Kelly said. “That committee ensured that our next Court of Appeals judge would be selected through an open process based on merit, and I thank the members of nominating committee for their work.”

The nominating commission forwarded three candidates for Governor Kelly’s consideration. In addition to Judge Jack, the finalists were Marcia Wood of Wichita and Sarah Warner of Lenexa.

“Deciding on one of these three exceptional candidates was not easy,” Kelly said. “Marcia and Sarah are impressive attorneys and individuals, and I thank them for their commitment to serving Kansas in their work.”

The Senate has sixty days to vote on Judge Jack’s nomination. The Governor and Judge Jack look forward to working with the Senate to ensure a smooth and productive confirmation process.