Kansas got a taste of a more politicized judicial system last week as an out-of-state conservative group bought a full-page ad in the Topeka Capital-Journal praising Gov. Sam Brownback and his appointment of Caleb Stegall to the Kansas Court of Appeals. The D.C.-based Judicial Crisis Network, a 501(c)(4) organization (which means it doesn’t have to disclose who funds it), said in the ad that because of Brownback’s leadership, “special interest lawyers no longer control appointments to the Kansas Court of Appeals.” Dennis Depew, president of the Kansas Bar Association, said that has never been the case. “I’m certainly not aware that any special interest in the legal profession at all controls anything to do with merit selection under the current method for picking (Kansas) Supreme Court justices and former method for picking Court of Appeals judges,” Depew told the Capital-Journal.
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