Archive for Thursday, July 10, 2014

Lawrence native Caleb Stegall among those seeking position on Kansas Supreme Court

July 10, 2014

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Six months after having been sworn in as the newest judge on the Kansas Court of Appeals, Caleb Stegall is seeking a promotion to the Kansas Supreme Court.

Stegall, whose appointment to the bench by Gov. Sam Brownback sparked controversy, and 13 other judges and attorneys have applied to fill a vacancy on the state's highest court that was created by the departure of Justice Nancy Moritz to serve on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Gov. Sam Brownback announced his nomination of attorney Caleb Stegall to fill the 14th seat on the Kansas Court of Appeals on Aug. 20, 2013.

Gov. Sam Brownback announced his nomination of attorney Caleb Stegall to fill the 14th seat on the Kansas Court of Appeals on Aug. 20, 2013.

In 2013, Stegall, of Lawrence, had been serving as Brownback's chief counsel.

Brownback, a Republican, had approved a law that has the governor appoint Court of Appeals judges, subject to Senate confirmation. Previously, a commission screened applicants and named three finalists that the governor would chose from.

In the first appointment under the new process, Brownback picked Stegall.

Stegall, a former Jefferson County attorney, had gained notice in Kansas political circles for representing former attorney general Phill Kline, who is anti-abortion rights, in a legal dispute, as well as Kline's top deputy.

In 2005, Stegall encouraged "forcible resistance" to try to save the life of Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged Florida woman who had been at the center of a national debate over the right to die.

Stegall's nomination to the appeals court was approved on a partisan vote during a special session last year. He wasn't sworn into office until January.

Vacancies on the state Supreme Court continue to be filled under the system in which a nominating commission screens applicants, conducts interviews and submits the names of three finalists to Brownback.

The commission will conduct the interviews of the candidates Aug. 4-5. The interviews are open to the public.

In addition to Stegall, the applicants include Karen Arnold-Burger, of Overland Park, who has been a judge on the Kansas Court of Appeals since 2011; Victor Braden, of Lawrence, who is deputy attorney general; Daniel Creitz, of Erie, who is a state district court judge; Dennis Depew, of Neodesha, an attorney; Linda Kirby, of Wichita, an attorney; David Klaassen, of Marquette, an attorney; Thomas Malone, of Topeka, who has been a judge on the Kansas Court of Appeals since 2003, and chief judge since 2012; Anthony Mattivi, of Topeka, an attorney; Steven Montgomery, of Spring Hill, who is a state district court judge; Steven Obermeier, of Olathe, an attorney; Anthony Powell, of Wichita, who is on the Kansas Court of Appeals; Curtis Roggow, of Shawnee, an attorney; and Merlin Wheeler, of Emporia, who is a state district court judge.

Comments

Fred Mertz 8 months, 3 weeks ago

ALEC is the best thing that ever happened to Kansas. Without ALEC legislators would have to think for themselves.

James Howlette 8 months, 3 weeks ago

True dat. I hear they're most effective in states like Kansas with shorter legislative sessions and part time reps, because it's like plagiarizing the book report. You can pretend like you're a brilliant thinker introducing all sorts of important legislation while really you're just signing your name to someone else's work.

James Howlette 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Of course he is. This has been the plan all along. Brownback would have preferred being able to appoint him straight to the top, but if he's one of the three choices, you know he'll be the one. All the bigger pity for Kansas. November can't get here soon enough.

Philipp Wannemaker 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Headline should be changed to "Meet Your Next Supreme Court Justice"' Brownback's intent all along, just had to do it in 2 steps instead of 1.

Phillip Chappuie 8 months, 3 weeks ago

He is clearly not qualified to sit on the State Supreme Court bench. He has neither the merit or experience. Anybody affiliated with Kline in any way should be crossed off the list. If he is appointed it its just a political hack move. Why do conservatives complain about activist judges and then turn right around and do the same things they complained about?

Sam Crow 8 months, 2 weeks ago

So what qualifications should a court candidate have ? Of course, other than they should agree with you politically?

Jim Slade 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Unbiased opinions/non-partisanship.

Which he clearly is the opposite of.

Randall Uhrich 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Guaranteed recipe for plutocracy in Kansas: pack the courts with political affiliates. This state is going down the tube thanks to Brownback.

Randall Uhrich 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Guaranteed recipe for plutocracy in Kansas: pack the courts with political affiliates. This state is going down the tube thanks to our Republican governor. Brownback will carry the legacy of a despoiled state and bankrupt economy like a badge of shame for as long as he's remembered.

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