Governor Won’t Release Names Of Court Applicants

Gov. Sam Brownback says he won’t disclose the applicants for the Kansas Court of Appeals because it would prevent some qualified candidates from coming forward.

Brownback issued a statement Thursday amid ongoing criticism that a new selection process for the state’s second-highest court is less open than the one it replaced. His spokeswoman said Tuesday that he was considering releasing the names.

Under law that took effect this month, the governor will appoint Court of Appeals judges, subject to state Senate confirmation.
Under the previous system, a statewide nominating commission led by lawyers screened applicants and named three finalists, with no role for legislators after the governor’s appointment. The commission has released applicants’ names since 1981.

Brownback said potential candidates told him they preferred that their names remain confidential.