The Kansas Supreme Court will hear two cases in a special session Monday, April 1, at the Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Drive, as part of its ongoing outreach to familiarize Kansans with the high court, its work, and the overall role of the Kansas judiciary.
It will be the Supreme Court’s first visit to Lawrence in the court’s 158-year history, and it will be only the 10th time the court will hear cases in the evening.
The court will be in session from 6:30 p.m. to about 8 p.m. April 1. After the session concludes, the justices will greet the public in an informal reception in the Lied Center lobby.
Appeal No. 119,269: Dwagfy’s Manufacturing Inc., d/b/a The Vapebar Topeka and Puffs ’n’ Stuff LLC (appellees) v. City of Topeka, Kansas, A Municipal Corporation and the Governing Body of the City (appellant) Shawnee County: (Civil Appeal) On December 5, 2017, the City of Topeka governing body passed Ordinance No. 20099 making it unlawful for any person to sell, furnish, or distribute cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, tobacco products, or liquid nicotine to any person under age 21 or to buy any of these products for a person under age 21. Dwagfy’s sought a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction. The district court granted the temporary restraining order and later permanently enjoined the City from enforcing the ordinance. The City appealed and the case was transferred to the Kansas Supreme Court. Issues on appeal are whether: 1) the Kansas Cigarette and Tobacco Products Act, K.S.A. 79-3301 et seq., pre-empts the City of Topeka from prohibiting the sale, furnishing, or distribution of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, tobacco products, or liquid nicotine to persons under age 21 and the purchase of these items for a person under age 21; and 2) Ordinance No. 20099 conflicts with the Kansas Cigarette and Tobacco Products Act, which prohibits the same activity but only for persons under age 18.
Appeal No. 117,143: State of Kansas (appellee) v. Jason L. Rucker (appellant) Wyandotte County: (Criminal Appeal) In 1997, Vicky Ernst was found murdered in her home, which had been ransacked. The case went cold until 2006, when a DNA match identified Torry Johnson as a suspect. Johnson told investigators it had been a failed drugs-for-sex deal and implicated Rucker and someone else in the murder. A jury convicted Rucker of felony murder. Issues on appeal are whether: 1) there is sufficient evidence to support Rucker’s felony murder conviction, specifically the underlying felonies of aggravated burglary, robbery, rape, and aggravated kidnaping; and 2) the trial court erred in admitting photographs of the victim.
Summaries of the cases and briefs filed by the attorneys are available online by following the Lawrence Special Session link under What’s New on the Kansas judicial branch website at www.kscourts.org.
Attending the special session
Arrive early to allow time to get through security. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. To ease your check-in, do not bring:
food or drink.
large bags, large purses, backpacks, computer cases, or briefcases. Small handbags are permitted.
knives, pepper spray, firearms, or weapons.
laptop computers, handheld games, personal digital assistants, or tablets.
Cell phones must be turned off and stored out of sight while court is in session.
The audience is prohibited from talking during oral arguments because it interferes with the attorneys’ remarks and justices’ questions. Talking immediately outside the auditorium is also discouraged. If you arrive after the session starts or must leave before it ends, be as quiet as possible entering and exiting the auditorium.
Live video stream
A livestream of the special session will be available on the internet by selecting the Watch Supreme Court Live! link on the judicial branch home page at www.kscourts.org.
Supreme Court outreach
Lawrence is the court’s 17th destination since 2011, when it first convened outside of the Kansas Judicial Center to mark the state’s 150th anniversary.