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Kansas Senate Confirms Stegall Nomination

The Kansas Senate has confirmed the nomination of Caleb Stegall to the Kansas Court of Appeals.

The 32-8 vote will send Stegall to the state's second-highest court.

Gov. Sam Brownback chose Stegall, his administration's top attorney, for the seat. Senator Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat, said he wouldn't support Stegall because the other candidates weren't made public.

“I, for one, did not have an opportunity, none of us had an opportunity, to draw any sort of comparison as to whether the governor is accurate in saying that this person was the most qualified, because the process was so secretive,” Hensley said.

But Senator Terry Bruce, a Republican from Hutchinson, said Stegall can be compared to judges appointed to other courts in Kansas.

"And I think that the comparison of the nominee when compared to current justices tells the story. That we have a before us somebody who is appropriately qualified for the position and who should be confirmed,” Bruce said.

This is the first appointment under a new system where the governor chooses nominees for the Kansas Court of Appeals. The nominees must be confirmed by the state Senate.

Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio and the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KCUR, KMUW, Kansas Public Radio and High Plains Radio covering health, education and politics.