Gov. Dave Heineman's judicial legacy includes the appointment of 60 judges out of the state's 145 total, and all but four were Republicans.
The Lincoln Journal Star reports, however that the Republican Heineman and one of his Democratic predecessors, Ben Nelson, both contend political affiliation didn't figure into their judicial selections.
Heineman says he doesn't ask a candidate's party affiliation but is interested in his or her philosophy, hoping to find what he calls common-sense Nebraska conservatives. Nelson told the newspaper that he was concerned far more about avoiding a judicial activist than he was about rewarding a fellow Democrat.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln law professor John Lenich says Nebraska's governors seem to give weigh heavily the nominees' credentials and recommendations by the state's judicial nominating commissions.
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