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Kansas Supreme Court: Brownback Can Wait to Appoint Judge

Associated Press - July 29, 2016 1:54 pm

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed into law a measure that creates an independent task force to review the state's child welfare system.

The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that state law allows Gov. Sam Brownback to decide when he will fill a vacant district magistrate position.

Three 26th District judges asked the court in July to require Brownback to appoint a judge in that district within 90 days of learning of the vacancy. They argued state law requires five magistrate judges to serve the six-county district.

Brownback wants to wait until after the August election to appoint a replacement for Judge Tommy Webb of Haskell County, who retired in February.

The justices ruled unanimously Friday that wording of state law gives the governor discretion to exceed the 90-day deadline.

Justices Dan Biles and Caleb Stegall were not part of the decision. They were replaced by Senior Judges Michael Malone and David Stutzman.