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Stegall: Kansans Value Loyalty To State

Newly confirmed Kansas Court of Appeals Judge Caleb Stegall says the state's residents want their public servants to show more loyalty to the state and their neighbors than to a particular political party.

Stegall added that loyalty to what he called "our mutual home" and to the common good will continue to drive him as he serves on the state's second-highest court.

The Kansas Senate confirmed Stegall Wednesday on a 32-8 vote, which was along party lines. Stegall had been serving as Gov. Brownback's chief council before the governor nominated him for the position.

His nomination had drawn attacks from some Democrats, like Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley.

Hensley says Gov. Brownback's refusal to disclose a list of the other applicants for the Court of Appeals position means lawmakers don't know if Stegall was the best person for the job.

The old Court of Appeals nominating system did previously release the names of all candidates and held public interviews, though its discussions occurred in private.

Under the new system, the governor nominates a finalist, subject to Senate confirmation, and the Senate's deliberations are open to the public.