Getting on a Kansas appellate court takes tenacity

Some of the champions of Caleb Stegall’s nomination to the Kansas Court of Appeals saw political bias in the fact that he was twice passed over by the judicial nominating commission for earlier court openings under the old selection system. But Associated Press’ John Hanna noted it’s common for applicants to those courts to apply multiple times. Appeals Judges Stephen Hill, Steve Leben and Kim Schroeder all were appointed after their 11th applications either for the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court, Hanna wrote. And of the current members of the appellate courts, only Supreme Court Justice Carol Beier, formerly of Wichita, was appointed on her first try. That happened twice to Beier, who was named to the Court of Appeals in 2000 and the Supreme Court in 2003. Hanna also noted that when Stegall was interviewed by the nominating commission for the earlier vacancies, “the commission’s questions touched on the 41-year-old’s relative youth in a pool that included lawyers who’d been practicing twice as long.”