Gov. Brownback defending his court of appeals nomination

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Governor Sam Brownback is defending his nomination to the state court of appeals.

It’s a controversial choice as his pick , Caleb Stegall, is also his chief counsel.

The criticism with Governor Brownback’s pick comes in Stegall’s background….and timing.

This is Brownback’s first appointment to a judgeship without being screened by lawyers.

Stegall’s nomination is for the state’s second highest court.

A nomination committee had picked three finalists…with Brownback making the final choice.

Stegall graduated from the University of Kansas School of Law, was a prosecutor in Jefferson County and he’s been the chief counsel to the Governor since January 2011.

At a press conference Tuesday, the governor responded to picking his friend for this spot.

“I picked the most qualified person. and you can review the court of appeals nominees I would invite you to do that and compare his qualifications to theirs,” Brownback said.

In response to the governor’s pick, House Minority Leader Paul Davis released a statement saying, “the Kansas judiciary should be a pillar of independence and transparency, not a parking lot for Governor Brownback’s well-connected, partisan pals.”

At Tuesday’s press conference, Stegall left without taking any questions from the media.

A governor’s spokeswoman cited the Ginsburg rule – which prevents candidates from taking questions.

The next move, the senate will need to confirm Stegall’s nomination.

That vote will take place during a special legislative session on September 3rd.

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