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Finalists chosen for Kansas Supreme Court vacancy

Finalists chosen for Kansas Supreme Court vacancy

By Associated Press and KFDI News . CREATED Aug 6, 2014

A former top aide to Gov. Sam Brownback is among three finalists for a vacant seat on the Kansas Supreme Court.

A special nominating commission on Tuesday chose Court of Appeals Judges Caleb Stegall and Karen Arnold-Burger and state District Judge Merlin Wheeler from 13 applicants for the high court. Brownback has 60 days to appoint one of them to replace Justice Nancy Moritz, who left to join the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Stegall was Brownback's chief counsel until the governor appointed him to the state Court of Appeals in January 2014. Arnold-Burger has served on that court since 2011.

Wheeler is chief judge of the 5th Judicial Circuit, made up of Lyon and Chase counties.

Brownback's appointee to the Supreme Court will require confirmation by the state Senate.

Sedgwick County district judge Anthony Powell and Wichita attorney Linda Kirby were among the candidates who were interviewed for the vacancy.