Top Kansas Democrat Says Session About Judge’s Approval

The Kansas Senate’s top Democrat is questioning Gov. Sam Brownback’s motives for calling a special legislative session.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley said Monday that Brownback called the Sept. 3 session to gain quick approval of a coming appointment to the state Court of Appeals and avoid scrutiny of his nominee.

Brownback must nominate the judge by Aug. 29.

Brownback asked lawmakers to rewrite a state law allowing judges to sentence convicted murderers to 50 years in prison before being eligible for parole. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling last month raised questions about the law’s constitutionality.

But Senate GOP leaders said Monday that state law will require the Senate to consider the judicial appointment during the special session rather than waiting until the regular session in January.