The Court of Appeals Nominating Commission forwarded Judge Rhonda K. Mason, Olathe, for Governor Laura Kelly’s consideration to fill the Court of Appeals vacancy created by the June 27, 2020 retirement of Judge Steve Leben.
The other two nominees previously submitted to the Governor for the Leben vacancy are Russell Keller, Fairway, and Lesley Isherwood, Wichita. Governor Kelly will choose among the three nominees and submit an appointee for Senate consent during the 2021 legislative session.
Judge Mason was appointed by Governor Sam Brownback to the 10th Judicial District bench in 2016. She serves as a Board Member on the Johnson County Bar Association and is a member of the Kansas Bar Association, the American Judges Association, the Kansas City Bar Association, and the National Association of Women Judges. Judge Mason earned her bachelor’s degree in history from Oakwood University and her law degree from Washburn University.
Governor Kelly created the Court of Appeals Nominating Commission in 2020 through Executive Order 20-47. Under Kansas law, the Governor appoints judges to the Court of Appeals subject to consent of the Kansas Senate. Pursuant to Executive Order 20-47, when a Court of Appeals appointment does not receive Senate confirmation, the Court of Appeals Nominating Commission provides an additional nominee for the Governor’s consideration.