Old social media posts have doomed a judicial appointment by Kansas Governor Laura Kelly.
According to the governor’s office, in light of the information that has surfaced regarding Judge Jeffry Jack’s social media presence, Kelly is withdrawing his name from consideration for the Kansas Court of Appeals vacancy. Jack, at the request of Governor Kelly, submitted a letter last night removing his name from consideration.
“I’m surprised and disappointed that a sitting judge would engage in this type of rhetoric,” Kelly said. “It’s unacceptable for a sitting judge, who must be seen as unbiased and impartial, to post personal political views on social media.”
The Governor’s Nominating Committee forwarded three names for consideration on February 1. The finalists were interviewed and their legal background and work history vetted by the committee. Additionally, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation conducted background investigations on the finalists.
“It’s clear that despite a thorough review and investigation, this was missed,” Kelly said. “In fairness to all the applicants, I ask that the nominating committee thoroughly review all applicants again – including social media activity – and send me additional names for consideration. Once this is done and background checks are complete, I will then submit a new nominee to the Kansas Senate for review and confirmation, prior to the end of the legislative session.”
Due to recent problems with state employees and judicial nominees posting inflammatory comments on Twitter, the governor believes further review is necessary. The two remaining finalists, Sarah Warner and Marcia Wood, will be considered with the additional names following a thorough, follow-up review.
“In an era when we increasingly see Twitter and other social media platforms being used to attack and divide, we can and must do better,” Kelly said. “The last 24-hours is just the latest example of the deterioration of political discourse – on both sides of the aisle. I hope all of those working in the public sphere will join me as I work to change the tone and rhetoric used both online and here in Topeka. Regardless of our political affiliation, we can and must do better.”