Jacy Hurst sworn in as first woman of color on Kansas Court of Appeals


TOPEKA, Kan. — In a historic ceremony on Friday, the Honorable Jacy Hurst was sworn into the Kansas Court of Appeals, becoming the first Black woman, and woman of color, to take that seat.

“It was wonderful to be surrounded, virtually and in-person, by such supportive family, friends, and colleagues. I was overcome by the encouraging, thoughtful speeches. The Court of Appeals judges have been more welcoming than I ever imagined.”


Hurst was joined at the Kansas Judicial Center by her family, including her husband and children, who helped her put on her new robe. Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, D-Kansas, and state Sen. David Haley, D-Kansas City, also joined in to witness Hurst take her seat as one of 14 judges on the state’s Court of Appeals.

“Whether working on multi-year national litigation or representing a client in small claims court, each case, client, opposing counsel, judge, has helped me develop knowledge and experience necessary for the execution of my responsibilities,” Hurst said in her first speech as an appellate judge.

Judge Hurst was in private practice in the Kansas City area before joining the Kansas Court of Appeals. She was a general business litigator representing clients in federal and state courts. She is currently an adjunct professor at Washburn University School of Law.

The Kansas Senate confirmed Hurst back in March, along with Leslie Isherwood, another Court of Appeals pick. Both judges will be replacing long-time members Melissa Standridge and Steve Leben.

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