Kansas Court Nominee Floods Panel With Documents, Dems Question Qualifications

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Kansas Court of Appeals nominee Caleb Stegall has submitted more than 300 pages of documents to a legislative committee that will review his appointment by Gov. Sam Brownback.

In the materials he provided Wednesday to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Stegall said he has experience in ``a wide variety of legal settings.'' He is currently Brownback's chief counsel.

Stegall also submitted dozens of pages of magazine articles and online columns he has written, including book reviews and commentaries that hint at his conservative politics.

Brownback nominated Stegall last week to fill a new seat on the state's second-highest court, subject to confirmation by the state Senate.

The Senate will consider the appointment during a special legislative session that begins Tuesday, with a Judiciary Committee hearing that afternoon.

But Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley said Wednesday that Stegall isn't qualified to serve on the state's second-highest court if one or more district court judges also applied for the seat.

Stegall has not been a judge. Brownback has declined to disclose the names of other candidates for the Court of Appeals seat. Hensley said the public can't compare Stegall to other candidates.

Brownback spokeswoman Eileen Hawley said Hensley is engaged in partisan politics and is the only person so far who has questioned publicly whether Stegall is qualified.

Stegall has received endorsement letters from both Republicans and Democrats.