- Associated Press - Thursday, March 5, 2015

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The Kansas Supreme Court’s newest justice and the only one appointed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback has removed himself from hearing an education funding lawsuit.

The court said in a brief order Thursday that Justice Caleb Stegall wouldn’t participate. Stegall declined to comment through the court’s spokeswoman.

An attorney for four school districts suing the state said in December that Stegall should not sit with the high court on the case because he represented Brownback in unsuccessful settlement talks in 2013.

Stegall was Brownback’s chief counsel before the governor named him to the state Court of Appeals in 2013. Brownback elevated Stegall to the Supreme Court last year.

The high court noted that Stegall wouldn’t participate as it ordered more proceedings before a three-judge panel in Shawnee County District Court.

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