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.