Nominating commission sends names to governor
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Posted by: Beth Warrington
Over the course of two days the Supreme Court Nominating Commission interviewed 13 potential candidates to fill the vacancy created by the appointment of Justice Nancy Moritz to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Today the commission selected three names to send to Gov. Sam Brownback, who will have 60 days to decide.
The candidates are the Hon. Karen Arnold-Burger and Hon. Caleb Stegall, both of the Kansas Court of Appeals, and Hon. Merlin G. Wheeler, chief judge of the 5th Judicial District.
Arnold-Burger has been a Court of Appeals judge since 2011. Before that, she was a municipal judge in Overland Park from 1991 to 1996 and presiding municipal judge from 1996 to 2011. She was assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Kansas from 1989 to 1991, and assistant city attorney and then first assistant city attorney for the City of Overland Park between 1982 and 1989. She is a graduate of the University of Kansas and the University of Kansas School of Law.
Stegall has been a Court of Appeals judge since January 2014. Prior to becoming a judge, he was chief counsel to Gov. Sam Brownback from 2011 to 2014, Jefferson County attorney from 2009 to 2011, and in private practice with Stegall & Associates P.A. from 2005 to 2011. He was an associate attorney with Foulston Siefkin LLP in 2000 and again from 2001 to 2005. He was a law clerk to Judge Deanell R. Tacha, then-chief judge of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, from 2000 to 2001. He is a graduate of Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, and the University of Kansas School of Law.
Wheeler has been a judge in the 5th Judicial District (Lyon and Chase counties) since 1990 and chief judge since 1997. Before he became a judge, he was in private practice at Merlin G. Wheeler, Chtd., from 1988 to 1990. He was with the firm Perkins, Hollembeak & Wheeler Chtd. from 1982 to 1988, and with Perkins and Hollembeak from 1980 to 1982. He was city attorney for the City of Emporia from 1977 to 1980. He is a graduate of Dodge City Community College, Emporia State University, and Washburn University School of Law.