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Kansas gov. to release names of court applicants

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback now plans to release the names of applicants for a new seat on the state court of appeals.

Brownback spokeswoman Eileen Hawley said Tuesday the Republican governor changed his position because he wants the focus to be on appointing a high-quality judge to the state's second-highest court.

Under a selection process enacted this year, the governor will appoint judges to the court of appeals, subject to state Senate confirmation. Previously a judicial nominating commission screened applicants and named three finalists, with no role for legislators after the governor's appointment.

Brownback had faced criticism for not releasing the names of applicants. Hawley said the names will be disclosed after the July 31 application deadline.