A nominating committee assembled by Gov. Laura Kelly recommended the list of three finalists for a vacancy on the Kansas Court of Appeals include an assistant solicitor general with extensive experience arguing appellate cases.

Kelly said Steve Obermeier, of Olathe, would be considered along with previous finalists Lenexa attorney Sarah Warner and Wichita lawyer Marcia Wood. The governor plans to submit the appointment to the Kansas Senate in time for a confirmation review during the Legislature's so-called veto session starting in May.

Her previous nominee, Labette County District Court Judge Jeffry Jack, withdrew in March after disclosure of his insulting social media commentary on political figures and public policy.

"I look forward to working with the Senate to consider and confirm one of these three distinguished attorneys to the Court of Appeals," Kelly said.

Movement on the vacancy Friday occurred despite unresolved conflict among Kelly, Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, and Attorney General Derek Schmidt about Kansas law guiding the process for replacing Jack.

Schmidt, a Republican, said state law outlining a governor's 60-day appointment clock could be interpreted multiple ways. Wagle, who urged Schmidt to file a lawsuit to help settle the disagreement, said Kelly missed the deadline and the duty fell to Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton Nuss.

However, the Democratic governor said authority remained with her to appoint a person to replace retired Court of Appeals Judge Patrick McAnany.

"If Senate President Wagle feels the law regarding Court of Appeals appointments is unclear about the effect of a withdrawn appointment," Kelly said, "I am happy to work with her and the Legislature during this veto session to clarify the law through a simple legislative fix."

After transmitting the appointment to the Kansas Senate, the governor's office said, the Senate would have 60 days to vote. If the Senate didn't take it up, the governor said the appointment would stand.

Obermeier served since 2017 as assistant solicitor general in the Kansas attorney general's office. He concentrates on cases rising to the state's Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.

He worked as a prosecutor in the Johnson County District Attorney's office from 1985 until retiring in 2016. The Washburn University law graduate has written 1,300 appellate briefs and argued hundreds of cases in appellate courts.

Warner, president of the Kansas Bar Association, is at the Thompson Warner firm in Lawrence. She received a law degree from Ave Maria School of Law in Michigan.

Wood earned a University of Kansas law degree, clerked for U.S. District Judge Frank Theis and is a partner at Martin, Pringle, Oliver, Wallace and Bauer in Wichita.

When the governor announced Jack's nomination in February, she praised Wood and Warner as "impressive attorneys and individuals."