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Appeals court upholds Kansas judicial selection

Published on -9/14/2012, 2:56 PM

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- A federal appeals court has rejected a legal challenge to the way Kansas selects judicial nominees to its Supreme Court.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals said Thursday the constitutional amendment that created a nominating commission more than a half century ago is a testament to the state's commitment to judicial independence.

Their ruling comes in a lawsuit challenging the lawyer-dominated commission that forwards judicial nominees to the governor. Those judges face a popular election after serving for at least a year.

The court said the state designed the commission to limit the influence of politics on the nomination process and ensure the quality of judicial nominees.

It noted voters adopted the merit selection system as a compromise between an appointment process and an elective process.

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