Daily Archives: Aug. 20, 2013

Brownback didn’t look far to find Court of Appeals pick

Credit Gov. Sam Brownback with nerve in wielding his new power to nominate judges to the Kansas Court of Appeals. His first pick was his chief counsel, Caleb Stegall (in photo) – whose nomination was dismissed by the governor’s spokeswoman in July as “premature speculation.” Stegall, who was passed over for the court last year under the nonpartisan nominating commission system recently scrapped by the Legislature, comes with strong references, strongly conservative credentials and good experience, including as Jefferson County’s elected prosecutor. But he also is closely associated with former Attorney General Phill Kline, having represented him during his legal woes related to prosecutions of abortion providers. Stegall’s nomination will go to the Kansas Senate for a hearing and confirmation vote during the Sept. 3 special session, but it’s hard to imagine he will encounter much opposition in a chamber that was reshaped last year by the victories of conservative Brownback-backed candidates. The governor’s office won’t release the names of other applicants. Welcome to the new world of appellate judicial selection in Kansas.

RNC chairman condemns ‘self-deportation’

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach may still think that “self-deportation” is good immigration policy, and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney obviously bought into the strategy of using strict enforcement to encourage undocumented residents to leave the country on their own. But Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus condemned the term last week: “Using the word ‘self-deportation’ – it’s a horrific comment to make. I don’t think it has anything to do with our party. When someone makes those comments, obviously, it’s racist.” Priebus spoke to reporters at an RNC “Rising Stars” event in Boston.