Archive for Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Gov. Brownback nominates top lawyer for Kansas appeals court

August 20, 2013


TOPEKA — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has nominated his chief counsel for the state Court of Appeals.

Brownback announced the nomination of Caleb Stegall Tuesday. The Senate must confirm the nomination. It will convene for a special legislative session Sept. 3.

Stegall is best known for defending American missionaries who were detained in Haiti after trying to remove 33 children they mistakenly believed had been orphaned in the country's 2010 earthquake.

His nomination to the state's second-highest court is likely to draw criticism from the governor's opponents, especially as it is Brownback's first appointment to a judgeship without screening by lawyers.

Brownback's office released endorsement letters from a bipartisan group of lawyers, including former Kansas Attorney General Steve Six, a Democrat who faced Stegall in abortion-related litigation.

Stegall, a Republican, says Tuesday he received support from prominent Democrats, including former Attorney General Steve Six and Lawrence attorney Dan Watkins. Six and Stegall have been on opposite sides of abortion litigation.

Stegall was introduced by Brownback during a Statehouse news conference. The Senate will have to confirm his nomination.

Last year the nominating commission passed over Stegall for two vacancies on the Court of Appeals. When lawmakers created a 14th judgeship on the court this year, speculation immediately centered on Stegall as the leading candidate.


63BC 4 years, 9 months ago

Lawrence High grad, KU Law School, endorsed by Lawrence Democrats Steve Six and Dan Watkins.

So, I'm guessing all the comments on the Lawrence paper site will be positive...

booklover2 4 years, 9 months ago

63BC, you'd be guessing wrong...this guy is scary. This was no surprise either. This was the one that everyone thought he'd pick. He's been trying to find a top legal spot for him since he came into office. Just do some research and you'll find out that we need to be concerned about this. But, isn't that par for the course with this whole administration?

63BC 4 years, 9 months ago

Wait, I'm confused.

The immediate past Democratic Attorney General [himself the son of a judge and a one-time Obama appointee to the bench] endorsed him.

As did the former Treasurer of the Kansas Democratic Party, Dan Watkins.

But you say the "guy is scary."

Have they been duped or are they just not as knowledgable as you?

deec 4 years, 9 months ago

"He has worked as a counsel for Americans for Prosperity.[17]"

That pretty well sums why he was chosen.

Beth Bird 4 years, 9 months ago

Exactly. Paid for by Koch. Again.....

WilburM 4 years, 9 months ago

Competent attorney, per Six and Watkins (who is not Dem Party treasurer). Still a CRONY. Great start for this new, "democratic" system of appointment. And it's just the start.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 9 months ago

Who invented this cronyism you speak of?

chootspa 4 years, 9 months ago

Who cares? Get rid of it instead of trying to make it a "both sides do it" argument. No side should do it. Get rid of them all.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 9 months ago

You may as well be asking Democrats and Republicans to dissolve themselves and in a fit of kumbaya, work together to solve all the world's problems. A nice thought, actually. Ain't gonna happen, not now, not ever. But a nice thought.

chootspa 4 years, 9 months ago

Getting rid of cronyism and corruption can and does happen, whether or not there are political parties. Not often enough for my taste, but it does happen.

leaningleftist 4 years, 9 months ago

No surprise here, stegall will not be taken seriously by any judge sitting on the bench, he was the defender on phill Kline, and still couldn't stop him from being disbarred. A step backwards for democracy. Just another attempt to undermine democracy and shove his failed policies down our throats.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 9 months ago

We will see if his rulings are in line with the current Laws and Precedents. If he thinks his rulings will not be scrutinized, he is mistaken. If Brownback and Co. Thinks he will rubber stamp any thing They bring before him, I believe they will be disappointed. I doubt he would be inclined to rule in favor of Brownback and the Legislature if the Law and Evidence do not support his decision. He would be committing a type of "Professional Suicide" if it is apparent his decisions are strictly Politically Motivated. Good Luck Mr. Stegall. Welcome to the Proverbial "A Rock and a Hard place."

kansanjayhawk 4 years, 9 months ago

come on liberals--this is a good nominee--and certainly the best that a liberal is going to get out of Brownback. A competent and fair person who has a good legal mind he certainly deserves a fair hearing and unless there is a major moral failure in his past he is likely to be confirmed quickly.

jgkojak 4 years, 9 months ago

An article on the Haiti case:

A group of missionaries goes to an earthquake zone and rounds up children without, you know, bothering to do any paperwork or check, you know, if the kids actually have family in the area: "According to reports from Haiti, it has been established that many, if not most, of the children were not even orphans. Silsby is believed to have had "permission" from at least some of the children's parents or guardians to take them away. But in no instance, authorities say, did the missionaries have the proper documentation needed for a surrender of parental rights. And reports from Calebasse, the small town near Port-au-Prince where most of the children lived, indicate that some were handed over by adults who were not their parents -- a brother, a godmother, an informal guardian."

Given the horrible problems of human trafficking that exist, this is incredibly irresponsible- you know when you speed but don't see the sign? You still get a ticket. The fact that this lawyer was involved in this is a strike against him.

avarom 4 years, 9 months ago

Well, the only positive I see from this wonderful announcement is.....It put Perry, Kansas on the map. Whoo-Hoo!!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.