Topeka The last time Gov. Kathleen Sebelius appointed a justice to the Kansas Supreme Court, Douglas County District Court Judge Robert Fairchild and Lawrence attorney Martha Coffman were in the running.
They may be in the running again.
Fairchild and Coffman were among 14 people who applied for what will be a new vacancy on the state's highest appellate court when Justice Donald Allegrucci retires in January.
The Supreme Court Nominating Commission will review the applications of 14 people and conduct interviews Nov. 6-7.
The commission will then submit the names of three on a list for Sebelius to select one.
In 2005, Fairchild, Coffman and Eric Rosen, then a Topeka judge, were forwarded to Sebelius to replace Robert Gernon, who had died.
She picked Rosen. At the time, she said, "Judge Fairchild and Martha Coffman are excellent. I wish I could have appointed all three of them."
Fairchild had been appointed district court judge in 1996 by then-Gov. Bill Graves. Coffman has been a private lawyer and is on the advisory counsel to the Kansas Corporation Commission.
The state Supreme Court has been in the political crosshairs for the past couple of years for delivering controversial decisions. Some legislators have called for a change in the way that they are selected.
Last year, during the selection process, Fairchild said judges needed to inform the public about the role of the judicial branch and the importance of the appointed system of selecting judges.
In addition to Fairchild and Coffman, the list of applicants for Allegrucci's post includes: William Biles of Shawnee; Glenn Braun of Hays; Katherine Carter of Jamestown; Henry Cox of Shawnee; Richard Hathaway of Tecumseh; Judge Stephen Hill of Topeka; Judge Lee Johnson of Topeka; Judge Steve Leben of Fairway; Judge Thomas Malone of Topeka; Timothy Moore of Wichita; John Parisi of Leawood; and Judge Gregory Waller of Wichita.