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Kansas Lawmaker Seeks Fall Hearing on Court Nominee

Associated Press - July 17, 2013 6:34 pm

A Kansas prosecutor says the death penalty "is on the table" in the case of two people who investigators say fled to Mexico as suspects in a triple homicide last October.

The Kansas Senate Judiciary Committee’s chairman says he hopes to have a hearing this fall on Gov. Sam Brownback’s next nominee to the state Court of Appeals.

Chairman Jeff King said Wednesday he’s hoping to have a full-day meeting in October or November. He says senators will take the job of vetting the nominee seriously.

Brownback will fill a new seat on the Court of Appeals under a new system in which the governor appoints the judge, subject to Senate confirmation. Previously, a nominating commission screened applicants and named three finalists. Legislators had no role after the governor’s appointment.

Under a law taking effect this month, the Senate will have 20 days after the Legislature reconvenes in January to act. Brownback must nominate a judge by Aug. 29.