Topeka Lawrence attorney John Lungstrum is one of eight Kansas attorneys recommended by U.S. Sens. Bob Dole and Nancy Kassebaum for possible appointment to fill vacances in U.S. district court judgeships in Wichita and Kansas City, Kan.
The attorneys include two women, a state district court judge, a former judge, a part-time U.S. magistrate and a former U.S. attorney for Kansas. All are Republicans.
Dole and Kassebaum agreed on four nominees for each of the vacancies. They sent their names to the Justice Department a month ago, but made no announcement.
After background checks and bar association reviews, the names of two of the nominees will be forwarded to President Bush, who will select the new judges.
ONE OF THE new judges will succeed Sam Crow as district court judge in Wichita. Crow is moving to Topeka to replace Dale E. Saffels, who took senior status last fall but will continue to hear cases.
The other new judge will fill a new position created for Kansas City, Kan. The Federal Judgeship Act passed recently by Congress created new federal bench positions due to a heavy caseloads.
Nominated by Dole and Kassebaum for the new judgeship in Kansas City were Monti L. Belot, Coffeyville; Gloria G. Flentje, Wichita; Christel E. Marquardt, Topeka, and Charles J. Sell, Parsons.
Nominated for the impending vacancy in Wichita were Lungstrum; Robert H. Roth, Wichita; Paul L. Thomas, Wichita, and John C. Tillotson, Leavenworth.
``These individuals come highly recommended by their colleagues and are respected in their communities,'' Dole and Kassebaum said in their joint letter to U.S. Atty. Gen. Richard Thornburgh, which was dated Dec. 12.
``WE ARE confident that the talent on these two slates is highly competitive and merits your favorable consideration in a timely manner.''
Belot, Marquardt and Flentje are in private practice, while Sell has been a district court judge in Parsons for nearly 15 years. Marquardt is a past president of the Kansas Bar Assn., and Flentje is president-elect of the Wichita Bar Assn.
Lungstrum is a partner in the law firm that includes state Sen. Wint Winter Jr., R-Lawrence. Roth is a former U.S. attorney for Kansas who is in private practice, while Thomas is a former state district court judge and Tillotson is a part-time U.S. magistrate in Leavenworth.
Addition of the new judgeship gives Kansas six active federal judges Chief Judge Earl O'Connor, G.T. Van Bebber and one of the new judges in Kansas City; Crow in Topeka, and Patrick Kelly and the other new judge in Wichita.
The Kansas district also has five judges on senior status: Arthur Stanley in Kansas City, Richard Rogers and Saffels in Topeka and Wesley Brown and Frank Theis in Wichita. They decide the extent of their own work loads.