News Briefs

Melissa Taylor Standridge sworn in to Kansas Supreme Court, promises to promote trust in justice system

By: - December 14, 2020 12:23 pm

Standridge , who was nominated by Gov. Laura Kelly in November, was sworn in to the Kansas Supreme Court in a virtual ceremony Monday. (Noah Taborda/Kansas Reflector)

As she was sworn into the Kansas Supreme Court, Melissa Taylor Standridge dedicated her future work to promoting public trust and confidence in the state’s justice system.

Standridge, a Leawood resident appointed by Gov. Laura Kelly last month, took the oath in a virtual ceremony. She fills the opening left by the retirement of Justice Carol Beier, who had served on the court since 2003.

A judge on the state Court of Appeals since 2008, Standridge said she values the role of the judiciary as the third branch of government.

“Judicial independence means the judiciary should be independent from private or partisan interests and remain committed to the rule of law and the protection of individual rights and liberties,” Standridge said.

Standridge, who was sworn in alongside her husband in-person and all six other justices virtually, said she was excited and prepared to get to work. Usually, swearing-in ceremonies take place in the Kansas Supreme Court courtroom, but restrictions on mass gatherings made an in-person ceremony impractical.

Before becoming a judge, Standridge worked under two federal judges and as a private attorney at the Shook, Hardy & Bacon law firm.

She earned her bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Kansas. After working in business for several years, Standridge attended law school and graduated in 1993 from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.

“I wanted to make the world a better place by protecting clients and safeguarding the rule of law,” she said.

Chief Justice Marla Luckert presided over the ceremony and administered the oath of office to the new supreme court justice. When the ceremony concluded, Standridge joined Luckert and the other justices in hearing the court’s docket.

“True to Justice Standridge’s words, we’re only giving her a few moments of pause as we put her to work,” Luckert said.

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Noah Taborda
Noah Taborda

Noah Taborda started his journalism career in public radio at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri, covering local government and producing an episode of the podcast Show Me The State while earning his bachelor’s degree in radio broadcasting at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Noah then made a short move to Kansas City, Missouri, to work at KCUR as an intern on the talk show Central Standard and then in the newsroom, reporting on daily news and feature stories.