TOPEKA, Kan. -

Governor Sam Brownback has appointed his former Chief Counsel as the state's newest Supreme Court Justice.

Caleb Stegall moves to the Kansas Supreme Court after serving as Court of Appeals judge for less than a year. Before that, Stegall was a commercial attorney, then Chief Counsel for Governor Brownback's office.

The Governor made the announcement in Topeka Friday morning. He said Stegall is a good choice for Kansas and that he will help the state move forward.

Because of his friendship with the governor, opponents assumed Stegall's appointment was a done deal when the nominating committee named him among three finalists for the job.

Opponents believe he will move the Kansas Supreme Court to the right. The Democratic Party has said the appointment would go against the state's tradition of an independent judiciary.

Stegall replaces outgoing Justice Nancy Moritz, who is moving to serve as a Federal Appeals Court Judge.

Eyewitness News Reporter Pilar Pedraza is following the story, look for updates and reaction from her tonight on Eyewitness News.