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State Senator Asks Tough Questions of Kansas Appeals Court Nominee

Kathryn Gardner speaking during the hearing. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

The chair of a Kansas Senate committee had some tough questions for a nominee for the Kansas Court of Appeals. Republican Senator Jeff King asked Kathryn Gardner if they should reject her nomination because they don't know much about her opinions on legal matters.

“We are lacking that paper trail of your own thought, your own opinion, your own personal writing reflecting that,” says King.

Gardner hasn’t previously served as a judge. She says her job as a law clerk to a federal judge has stopped her from sharing her opinions in legal writings. She pointed to hundreds of pages of documents she submitted, including educational writing and legal analysis.

“I don’t know that you want judges who are extremely opinionated on certain topics or issues of the law. What you’re looking for, I hope, are people that can apply the facts to the law objectively,” says Gardner.

Governor Sam Brownback has nominated Gardner to fill a vacancy on the Kansas Court of Appeals, but first she must be confirmed by the Senate. A hearing on her nomination continues tomorrow (THUR).

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