Gov. Sam Brownback's nominee for a seat on the Kansas Court of Appeals is headed for the job. The state Senate confirmed Caleb Stegall Wednesday in a party-line 32-8 vote.
Brownback chose Stegall, his administration's top attorney, for the job on the state's second-highest court. It's the first selection under a new process where the governor chooses nominees for the Court of Appeals, who then must be confirmed by the Senate.
Much of the criticism brought against the nomination was about the process. Sen. Anthony Hensley, a Democrat from Topeka, railed against the nomination because the governor did not release the names of other candidates for the job.
“How can the Kansas senate decide if Mr. Stegall is the most qualified person who applied for the job when the governor declined to be transparent and release the names?” asked Hensley.
But Sen. Terry Bruce, A Republican from Hutchinson, said they don’t know the candidates for any of the governor’s other appointments. He said they should to be asking if Stegall is qualified for the job.
“And I can find nothing in his record that would prevent him from fulfilling the duties of that job appropriately,” Bruce said.
The Associated Press reports that 41-year-old Stegall will be the youngest judge on the Kansas court of appeals by about 10 years.