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Brownback's nominee to Court of Appeals faces Senate panel vote after tense hearing

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TOPEKA, Kansas — A Kansas Senate panel is set to decide whether to endorse Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's nominee to the Kansas Court of Appeals.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote Thursday on whether to recommend that the full Senate confirm Kathryn Gardner as an appellate judge. Committee Chairman Sen. Jeff King aggressively questioned Gardner's qualifications in a hearing Wednesday. King is a Republican from Independence.

Gardner has served as the law clerk for U.S. District Judge Sam Crow since 2000 after spending 12 years as a practicing lawyer in Wichita and two years as an assistant state attorney general.

King said that her past experience made it difficult for lawmakers to discern her legal philosophy and stance on controversial issues. But Gardner says her record shows her ability to remain objective on those topics.

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