Court: Kansas Senate must vote to keep nominee off bench

May 10, 2019 - 8:11 pm

A Kansas Supreme Court ruling will force the state Senate to vote to reject a nominee for a lower-court judgeship if senators want to keep him off the bench because of his political tweets.

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Friday that Gov. Laura Kelly did not have the authority to withdraw her nomination of Labette County District Judge Jeffry Jack for the state Court of Appeals.

Kelly dropped Jack's nomination after political posts on his Twitter feed in 2017 came to light.

Kelly chose a second nominee, but Senate President Susan Wagle argued that the appointment went to Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton Nuss.

A 2013 law on appellate court appointments doesn't say what happens when a candidate withdraws. The Supreme Court said that means a nominee cannot withdraw.

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