Lawmakers will now begin the process of reviewing Governor Sam Brownback’s selection to fill an open seat in the Kansas Court of Appeals. Brownback chose his administration’s top attorney, Caleb Stegall, as the nominee. Brownback calls him the most qualified candidate for the job.
But the top Democrat in the Senate, Anthony Hensley of Topeka, called the selection “cronyism.” Stegall was passed over last year by a nominating commission that selected candidates for the appeals court. This nomination is the first under a new system where the governor chooses a nominee, who then must be confirmed by the state Senate. Stegall pointed to the bipartisan endorsements he received for the job, including from Republican Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and former Democratic Kansas AG Steve Six.
Stegall previously served as Jefferson County attorney and as the general counsel for Americans for Prosperity, which advocates for small government. He also served on the board of the wildlife conservation group Audubon of Kansas. The Kansas Senate will consider the nomination during next month’s special session.