Analysis: Process stirs angst in Kan. court debate

Caleb Stegall

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Gov. Sam Brownback’s critics have focused more on the process that led him to nominate his chief counsel to the Kansas Court of Appeals than on whether the nominee is qualified.

The Kansas Senate expects to vote this week on Brownback’s appointment of Caleb Stegall to the state’s second-highest court. He’s likely to win confirmation by a wide margin because the governor’s fellow GOP conservatives hold a Senate supermajority.

Much criticism of Stegall’s nomination has centered instead on Brownback’s refusal to release the names of other candidates so the applicants can be compared.

Conservative Republicans’ control of the Senate would automatically smooth the way for any Court of Appeals nominee’s confirmation. But a large vote in Stegall’s favor seems even more certain because he’s not being attacked directly.

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