Judge Kathryn Vratil, Kansas U.S. District Court

Judge Kathryn Vratil

Kansas U.S. District Court

Kathryn Hoefer Vratil was born in April 1949 in Manhattan, Kansas. She earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and received a  Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas School of Law. She clerked at the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas before entering private practice. 

Vratil was a judge on the Municipal Court for the City of Prairie Village, Kansas. She was nominated by President George H.W. Bush to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, coincidentally for the seat vacated by the judge she had clerked for earlier. She was confirmed by the Senate and received her commission in October 1992. 

She became Chief Judge in 2008 and served in that capacity until she assumed senior status in 2014. 

In the News…

A controversial election law passed earlier this year that makes it illegal for out-of-state groups to send Kansas residents advance ballot applications was temporarily blocked by a federal judge. 

Kansas HB2332, which took effect in July, also barred advance ballot applications from being sent if information is already filled out on them. Both provisions were the subject of a lawsuit from national voting rights groups which argued it violates the First and Fifteenth Amendments as well as the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The groups alleged that the newly enacted law effectively halts their work in Kansas and keeps them from “employing their most effective means of persuading voters to engage in the democratic process.” 

U.S. District Court Judge Kathryn Vratil denied a request from the state to dismiss the case and instead blocked the law from being enforced. The ruling merely halts the law’s enforcement until the case is resolved, with the judge saying “delayed implementation is not likely to cause material harm, even if it is eventually found to be constitutional and enforceable.” 

She said the law “will have the inevitable effect of reducing the total quantum of speech on an important public issue” and argued with the voting rights groups that a more demanding level of legal review was required. 

Kansas is the latest state to grapple with election laws. Forty-three voting cases have been filed in 12 states. 

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Judge Vratil today? You can let her know at:

The Honorable Kathryn H. Vratil 
U.S. District Court 
500 State Avenue, Suite 529 
Kansas City, KS 65101 


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