Governor’s Aide Rejects Dem Comments About Court

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) Gov. Sam Brownback’s chief spokeswoman says the Kansas Senate’s top Democrat has no grounds to suggest the swearing-in of Brownback’s chief counsel to the Court of Appeals is being delayed for political reasons.

Eileen Hawley said Tuesday the suggestion by Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley is unfounded.

Hensley questioned having Caleb Stegall take his seat on the Court of Appeals on Jan. 3. The Senate confirmed Stegall’s appointment Sept. 4.

Hensley suggested the timing was designed to delay a statewide vote on keeping Stegall on the bench by two years, to November 2016.

But judicial branch officials say the timing is dictated by the budget. Brownback’s office pointed to a letter to that effect in August from Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton Nuss.