Judicial elections, democratic appointment (e.g., senate confirmation), and the Missouri Plan (a/k/a "merit selection")

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Kansas Senate Confirmation Hearing for Court of Appeals

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted yesterday in favor of Kathryn Gardner's confirmation to the Kansas Court of Appeals. The hearing "was tense as committee chairman Republican Sen. Jeff King aggressively questioned her qualifications." This is in contrast to the predictions of some who worry that if the senate is controlled by members of the governor's party the governor's nominee will not be scrutinized seriously.

Also, some people complain that a senate confirmation process does not reveal who other than the governor's nominee applied for the position. For instance, AP reports Sen.Carolyn McGinn said she "believed Gardner answered questions well, but wished the names of other applicants to the position were made public." But two lawyers (Suzanne Valdez and Dennis Depew) told The Wichita Eagle that they applied.

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