Lawrence attorney nominated to Kansas Court of Appeals again after Senate rejection

A nominee for the Kansas Court of Appeals who was rejected by the Kansas Senate last month has been nominated again — this time to replace Kansas Court of Appeals Judge Steve Leben, who is retiring.

The Court of Appeals Nominating Commission on Friday announced its three nominees to fill Leben’s seat. Gov. Laura Kelly will appoint one of the nominees by the end of August, according to a news release from her office. The appointment then is subject to Senate confirmation in January.

The Senate in June narrowly rejected Carl A. Folsom III, of Lawrence — a move that the governor criticized as a “political game.” She had appointed him to fill the seat of Judge G. Joseph Pierron Jr., who retired. With 18 senators in favor and 17 opposed, Folsom did not receive the constitutional majority needed for appointment. Five senators did not vote.

Folsom works as an assistant federal public defender in Topeka. He is a lecturer and adjunct professor at the University of Kansas School of Law.

The other two nominees are Lesley A. Isherwood, of Wichita, a senior assistant district attorney for the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office appellate division; and Russell J. Keller, of Fairway, a judicial clerk with Judge Mary Beck Briscoe of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.

Folsom was nominated last year for a vacant judgeship in Douglas County District Court that Kelly filled instead with Shawnee County chief public defender Stacey Donovan.


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