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Kassebaum Baker worried about politicizing Kansas courts

"Our concern is not with any particular nominee, but with the process," former U.S. Sen. Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker (in photo) and retired 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Deanell Reece Tacha wrote about Kansas' new judicial appointment system. That process began in the Kansas Senate Tuesday, as senators evaluated Caleb Stegall, Gov. Sam Brownback's nominee to the Kansas Court of Appeals. Though Tacha wrote a letter endorsing Stegall, she and Kassebaum Baker fear that the new appointment process could politicize Kansas' courts and undermine public trust. "We cannot let Kansas be the place where the judiciary is under any cloud of suspicion that the selection process is based on anything other than merit and that the judges are answerable to anything other than the law, including the Constitution," they wrote.