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Court nominee faces Kan. Senate panel's questions

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Gov. Sam Brownback's chief counsel faces questions from state senators ahead of a committee vote on his nomination to the Kansas Court of Appeals.

Tuesday's Judiciary Committee hearing on Caleb Stegall's appointment to the state's second highest court was the Senate's main business on the opening day of a special legislative session.

The committee planned to vote Tuesday evening.

Lawmakers are convening to rewrite a law allowing murderers to be sentenced to at least 50 years in prison. But the Senate is legally obligated to consider pending appointments.

The 41-year-old Stegall was an attorney in private practice and Jefferson County's elected prosecutor before joining Brownback's staff in 2011. He's submitted more than 300 pages of documents to the committee.

The full Senate hopes to vote on his appointment Wednesday.