Repeat applicants for Kan. appeals courts common

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Some critics of Caleb Stegall’s appointment to the Kansas Court of Appeals noted that he’d been passed over as a finalist for two previous vacancies.

But repeat applications appear common.

Stegall is Gov. Sam Brownback’s chief counsel and Brownback’s first appointment to the court under a new law that has the governor picking the judges, subject to Senate confirmation.

Previously, a commission screened applicants for the Court of Appeals and named three finalists, with no role for lawmakers after the governor’s appointment. That system remains in place for the state Supreme Court.

According to the appellate courts’ chief clerk, Supreme Court Justice Carol Beier is the only one of 21 current appellate court judges appointed on her first try.

Three Court of Appeals judges were appointed following their 11th applications.

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