St. Louis Public Radio News
1:42 pm
Fri May 16, 2003

ABA May Change Views on Selecting Judges

St. Louis, Mo. – The nation's largest lobby group for lawyers is considering changing its views on picking judges.

The American Bar Association has long endorsed appointing judges, not electing them.

The Bar Association's President, A.P. Carlton, says the public wants to elect them. Carlton was in St. Louis today. He says the policy needs to also address elections.

But he says the public thinks lawyers who make campaign contributions to judges get special treatment in court.

"We think that's unfair and probably not accurate, but the perceived impropriety results in a loss of public trust and confidence in the judiciary," Carton said.

Carlton says the ABA will still prefer appointing judges, but plans to change its policy to also endorse non-partisan races for those judges that are elected.