Gov. Laura Kelly appointed Judge Melissa Standridge to the Kansas Supreme Court on Monday.


Standridge, who has served on the Kansas Court of Appeals since 2008, will be filling the vacancy left by former Justice Carol Beier. This is Kelly’s third appointment to the state’s highest court.


"To serve on our state’s highest court is the honor of a lifetime — but I don't view joining the Supreme Court as just a capstone to my career," Standridge said. "I am keenly aware that my appointment is more than just moving my office from the second floor of the judicial center to the third floor."


The Leawood resident was chosen by the governor from a pool of three nominees forwarded by a nominating commission. The other two candidates were Kim Cudney, chief judge of the 12th Judicial District, and Kristen Wheeler, who works for federal judge J. Thomas Marten.


Standridge has an extensive amount of judicial and legal experience. Beyond the Court of Appeals, she served as chambers counsel to U.S. District Magistrate Judge David Waxse. She was an associate attorney for Kansas City firm Shook, Hardy, and Bacon.


She pursued her law degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. In that time, she was the editor-in-chief of the Law Review and the student leader of the Moot Court program.


The governor cited Standridge’s personal life, however, in choosing her.


"As a foster and adoptive parent, she has firsthand experience navigating the system both as a judge, and as a foster parent to numerous youngsters, doing her best to provide security, stability and love to kids who sorely needed it," Kelly said. "The totality of her life and career experience makes her preeminently qualified to sit on the Kansas Supreme Court."


Selection of state supreme court justices go through the nominating commission, which forwards three candidates to the governor. But Republican lawmakers have criticized the fact there is no legislative oversight over the process.


Kelly, however, said she likes the current process. The majority of current Kansas Supreme Court justices have been appointed by Democratic governors.


"I think keeping it the way that it is ensures much more in keeping politics out" of the process, Kelly said.


Standridge will serve on the court for a year before undergoing retention elections in the next general election.