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Brownback Ordered To Explain Why He Hasn't Appointed Judge

Stephen Koranda
KPR/File photo

The Kansas Supreme Court is giving Gov. Sam Brownback until July 11 to tell the court why it shouldn't force him to fill a vacant district magistrate position.

The court on Tuesday ordered the governor to explain why he didn't make the appointment in 90 days, as required by state law.

Three 26th District judges filed a petition with the court last week after Brownback announced he would wait until after the August primaries to consider filling the vacancy, which was created when Judge Tommy Webb of Haskell County announced his retirement in February.

The petition says Kansas law requires five magistrate judges to serve the six-county district.

Brownback spokeswoman Eileen Hawley says the governor has the discretion under the Kansas constitution to make the appointment when he sees fit.