Opinion Columns & Blogs

What is motive for changing judicial selection process?

Gov. Sam Brownback argues that eliminating a nominating commission would make the process of selecting Kansas Supreme Court justices more democratic. But former GOP Sen. Tim Owens of Overland Park contends that Brownback’s real motive is ideological. Owens told the Topeka Capital-Journal that in 2012, while he was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he had a meeting with Brownback and his inner circle, including Caleb Stegall, who was Brownback’s general counsel at the time and now sits on the Supreme Court. Owens says that Brownback pressured him to “change the way we select judges so we can get judges who will vote the way we want them to.” Owen said he was appalled and told Brownback that he would not proceed as Brownback wished. – Phillip Brownlee