St. Louis Public Radio News
7:57 am
Thu October 8, 2009

Opponents of "Missouri plan" outline another option for filling court vacanies

Jefferson City, Mo – A group that wants to change the way Missouri selects its judges has unveiled another proposed ballot initiative.

The new proposal from Better Courts for Missouri would require partisan elections for all judges. An earlier version would allow governors to appoint whomever they choose to appellate and urban trial courts with the consent of the Senate.

Vacancies on those courts are currently filled by a system where a special nominating panel gives a list of three names to the governor, who picks one from the list. Opponents of the system say trial lawyers have too much influence on the panel.

Better Courts executive director James Harris says the group has not decided which proposal to pursue for the 2010 ballot.