A Cole County judge has upheld a ballot summary prepared by Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) for a proposed constitutional amendment that would expand the governor’s role in appointing State Supreme Court judges.
The ballot language for Amendment 3 asks:
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to change the current nonpartisan selection of supreme court and court of appeals judges to a process that gives the governor increased authority to:
- appoint a majority of the commission that selects these court nominees; and
- appoint all lawyers to the commission by removing the requirement that the governor's appointees be nonlawyers?
A lawsuit was filed against Carnahan in July that claimed the language she chose was unfair and sought to obscure the measure’s true meaning. In his ruling, Circuit Judge Jon Beetem (R) said that Carnahan’s summary was sufficient and fair, although it did not include all details or possible outcomes should it pass. Carnahan lost a similar suit last month over the language used in a health insurance ballot question.
Opponents to Carnahan’s ballot summary are planning an appeal.
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