Kansas Senate rejects Gov. Kelly’s appeals court nominee, a Tonganoxie alum; ‘sounds like politics,’ Kelly says

In this screenshot of a video feed from the Statehouse in Topeka, the Kansas Senate votes on the appointment of Carl A. Folsom III as a judge on the Court of Appeals on June 3, 2020. Enlarge photo

June 4, 2020

The Kansas Senate did not confirm Gov. Laura Kelly’s nominee for the Kansas Court of Appeals, a Lawrence resident and Tonganoxie High School alum, on Wednesday.

With 18 in favor and 17 opposed, Carl A. Folsom III did not receive the constitutional majority needed for appointment. Five senators did not vote, and a motion to reconsider did not carry.

Kelly responded to the vote during a brief press conference Wednesday afternoon, after which she took no questions: “Sounds like politics to me.”

Kelly said that Folsom, 39, is a fifth-generation Kansan who is highly qualified to serve on the Court of Appeals. She said Folsom has appealed more than 200 cases, and that even some people on the Court of Appeals would say he’s had more experience than them.

“To let him become the collateral damage in your political games is absolutely wrong,” Kelly said. “The Legislature needs to think long and hard about what they just did.”

Folsom works as an assistant federal public defender in Topeka. He is a lecturer and adjunct professor at the University of Kansas School of Law. Folsom graduated from THS in 1998.

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