Details of Kansas judge nominating process may become public

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court is considering a rule that would require records related to the selection of nominees for the high court and other judgeships to be made public.

The rule change would require those records to be retained for at least three years after nominating commissions have made their decision. The minutes of the commissions would be retained indefinitely, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

The commissions are made up mostly of attorneys who conduct interviews and nominate three candidates for the governor’s consideration.

Gov. Sam Brownback and conservative lawmakers have tried to replace that process with the federal approach, in which the governor would make his nomination and the state Senate would confirm or reject it.

Nominating commissions are “a handful of lawyers” that “remove the people of Kansas” from important decisions, Brownback said in his State of the State speech in January.

The proposed rule from the Supreme Court is designed to give the press and public more transparency about how the commissions make their decisions.

The high court will accept public comments on the proposed change before deciding whether to implement it.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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