Judges, past finalists among candidates for top Kansas court

National News

Two members of the Kansas attorney general's staff who were finalists for a previous appointment and four lower-court judges are seeking to fill a vacancy on the state Supreme Court.

A lawyer-led state nominating commission is scheduled to interview 17 candidates for the high court Jan. 16 and 17. The commission will name three finalists for Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly to consider, and she will have until March 17 to pick one.

The vacancy was created by former Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton Nuss' retirement last week. The next senior justice, Marla Luckert, became chief justice.

It will be Kelly's second appointment to the seven-member court within three months. Last week, the governor appointed Shawnee County District Judge Evelyn Wilson to replace retired Justice Lee Johnson.

The two finalists for that spot were Deputy Attorney General Dennis Depew and Assistant Solicitor General Steven Obermeier.

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