Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): A Justice We Can Keep--Caleb Stegall

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A Justice We Can Keep--Caleb Stegall

Embattled members of the Kansas Supreme Court appear to be on a statewide tour to improve their image. Their popping up at local meetings, in classrooms, and taking their judicial show on the road. They conducted a special hearing at Hutchinson Community College earlier this week as part of a special effort to "familiarize the public with the high court and its work."

Until recently, most Kansans probably couldn't pick a Kansas Supreme Court Justice out of a line up. Today, they're practically Kansas' version of the Kardashians; you can't swing an elbow at a civic organization meeting without bumping into one. The justices have organizations like Kansans for Justice and Better Judges for Kansas to thank for the sudden recognition. These groups are working tirelessly to alert Kansans about our state Supreme Court. These organizations are not impressed.

The names of five members of the Kansas Supreme Court will appear on the ballot this November, and voters will be asked whether we should retain their services on the state's highest bench. These organizations agree that four of the five should be retired. However, there is one Justice both groups believe should be retained. Caleb Stegall is a former prosecutor and brilliant legal mind. Even liberal Democrats have publicly recognized his abilities.

Former Kansas Attorney General Steve Six, Democrat, and Lawrence attorney Dan Watkins, Democrat, pledged their support for Stegall's nomination to the appellate court in 2013. 

Conservatives like him, too, because he appears to make legal considerations based on the Constitution--as opposed to whatever the teacher's union wants.

Stegall was not on the Court when the Kansas Supreme Court decided to overturn the Carr brothers' death sentences. Unlike other members of the Supreme Court, he recused himself from the recent school finance lawsuits, citing a conflict of interest because he is a former aide to Gov. Brownback. (Tellingly, the former legal counsel for the Kansas Association of School Boards, Justice Dan Biles, didn't recuse himself.)

Kansas' judicial nominating process makes it virtually impossible for Constitutionalist to get appointed to the highest Court in the state. We have one now, and Kansans should do everything in our power to retain him. We have a chance on Nov. 8 to do so. Voters should #KeepCaleb.

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