Saturday, September 7, 2013
The debate about how Kansas picks judges for its Court of Appeals has spilled well beyond the state's borders.
Two Washington-based groups weighed in following the Kansas Senate's confirmation last week of Gov. Sam Brownback's chief counsel to the appeals court under a law that took effect in July.
The governor now makes the appointment, subject to Senate confirmation. Under the old system, a judicial nominating commission screened applicants and named three finalists. After the governor's appointment, legislators had no role.
In a fundraising email, Justice at Stake described the change as a "power grab" by Brownback and his allies.
But after Stegall's confirmation, the conservative-leaning Judicial Crisis Network took out a full-page ad in The Topeka Capital-Journal, praising the new process for giving the public a voice.