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Bill filed requiring release of names of those applying for position on the Kansas Court of Appeals

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Topeka — Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, has pre-filed legislation that would require the governor to make public the names of people who apply for an appointment to the Kansas Court of Appeals.

Last year, Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, and his conservative allies pushed through a change in the way Court of Appeals judges were selected.

Now those judges are selected by the governor subject to confirmation by the Senate.

Prior to the change, the governor selected an appeals court judge from a list of nominees provided by a nominating commission.

Brownback selected his chief counsel, Caleb Stegall, as the first nominee under the new law.

The new selection process became more controversial when Brownback refused to divulge the names of those applying for the vacancy on the state's second highest court. Under the former system, the nominating commission released the names of those applying, its final recommendation and had even opened up to the public its interview process.

Brownback declined to make the applicants' names public, saying it would hurt the chances of getting qualified individuals to apply.

Under Senate Bill 252, the governor would be required to make each applicant's name and city of residence available to the public once the application process is over. The 2014 legislative session starts Monday.

Comments

Steve King 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Before the change, the Governor touted how transparent the new process would be. Then, per the article, "...Brownback refused to divulge..."

And for his next trick he wants the power to appoint the Supreme Courts Judges. Now that's what's transparent!

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