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Governor Brownback Thinks About Releasing Applicant Names, Then Decides Against It

Gov. Sam Brownback has decided that he won't disclose the applicants for the Kansas Court of Appeals, after all. Gov. Brownback says it would prevent some qualified candidates from coming forward. The window for applying doesn't close until July 31.

Brownback says potential candidates told him they preferred that their names remain confidential.

Governor Brownback faces ongoing criticism that the new selection process for the state's second-highest court is less open than the one it replaced. His spokeswoman said on Tuesday that he was considering releasing the names.

Under law that took effect this month, the governor will appoint Court of Appeals judges, subject to state Senate confirmation. Under the previous system, a statewide nominating commission led by lawyers screened applicants and named three finalists. The governor chose a finalist, with no role for legislators.

The commission has released applicants' names since 1981.