Top Kansas court considers forcing vote on withdrawn Kelly nominee

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TOPEKA — The Kansas Supreme Court has raised the possibility of forcing the state Senate to vote on an appointment to a lower court even though Gov. Laura Kelly withdrew the nomination.

The Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday in a legal dispute that arose after Kelly withdrew her appointment in March of Labette County District Judge Jeffry Jack to the state Court of Appeals because of his political tweets in 2017.

The Democratic governor argues that she has the authority under a 2013 law to submit another nominee to the Republican-controlled Senate for potential confirmation. Senate President Susan Wagle says the next appointment goes to Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton Nuss.

Several Supreme Court justices suggested they could declare that the law didn’t allow Jack’s nomination to be withdrawn, forcing a vote.

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