Insider Knocks Judicial Process

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) A member of the Kansas commission that screens applicants for the state’s appellate courts says it was biased against conservative candidates in its most recent deliberations.

Commission member Felita Kahrs of Topeka said Tuesday the panel finally advanced one conservative’s nomination to the governor last month to avoid angering legislators seeking to change the selection process. Kahrs provided a copy of testimony for a Kansas House committee to The Associated Press before it met Tuesday.

It’s unusual for someone involved in that process to advocate change.

Kahrs is among four non-lawyers on the nine-member commission and was appointed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback in 2011.

The commission nominates three finalists for appellate court vacancies. The governor makes the appointment, with no role for legislators.

Supporters say that process eliminates politics.