The Kansas Supreme Court will conduct a special evening session on April 7th in Concordia as part of its ongoing outreach to familiarize people with the Kansas judiciary.

The court will be in session from 6:30 p.m. to about 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, in the Concordia High School auditorium, located at 436 W 10th St.

It will be the Supreme Court’s first visit to Concordia in the court’s 159-year history, and it will be only the 12th time that the court will hear cases in the evening.

The public is invited to attend the special session to observe the court as it hears oral arguments in two cases to be announced soon.  After the hearing concludes, the justices will greet the public in an informal reception in the commons outside the auditorium.

“Visiting communities gives Kansans an up-close look at how the judicial branch works,” Chief Justice Marla Luckert said. “Watching an argument in a real case helps people understand how courts resolved disputes and the steps that are taken to make sure court proceedings are fair and are resolved based on a correct application of the law.

Luckert said people generally understand the trial process because they may have been in a local courtroom as a juror or witness, or they may know someone who has been in court. But fewer people have seen an appellate court in action.

“Bringing arguments to communities throughout Kansas gives everyone the opportunity to learn how the Kansas Supreme Court decides cases,” she said. “People who come to watch and meet us afterward tell us they gained a better understanding of the Kansas judicial system and its constitutional responsibility to fairly and impartially resolve disputes.”

The Supreme Court has conducted several special sessions outside its Topeka courtroom since 2011, when it marked the state’s 150th anniversary by convening in the historic Supreme Court courtroom in the Kansas Statehouse. From there, and through the end of 2011, the court conducted special sessions in Greensburg, Salina, and Wichita. Since then, the court has had sessions in Colby, El Dorado, Emporia, Garden City, Hays, Hiawatha, Hutchinson, Kansas City, Lawrence, Manhattan, Overland Park, Pittsburg, Topeka, and Winfield.

The court started conducting evening sessions when it visited Hays in April 2015. The court’s visit to Lawrence in April 2019 drew a record crowd for an evening session of about 800 people.