The Kansas Supreme Court is giving Gov. Sam Brownback until July 11 to tell the court why it shouldn’t force him to fill a vacant district magistrate position.
The court on Tuesday ordered the governor to explain why he didn’t make the appointment in 90 days, as required by state law.
Three 26th District judges filed a petition with the court last week after Brownback announced he would wait until after the August primaries to consider filling the vacancy, which was created when Judge Tommy Webb of Haskell County announced his retirement in Feb. 19.
The petition says Kansas law requires five magistrate judges to serve the six-county district.
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“The law is very clear. The governor shall make the appointment. He’s abandoned his duty,” Pedro Irigonegaray, a Topeka attorney for the three judges, said Monday. “The governor, once again, is placing a political interest above the law.”
Brownback spokeswoman Eileen Hawley says the governor has the discretion under the Kansas constitution to make the appointment when he sees fit.