Amendment 3

File photo

After leading the fight to get the proposed tobacco tax increase known as Proposition A on the ballot, Ron Leone is forsaking that proposal so he can focus on defeating its rival.

“We’ve had to leave the fate of Proposition A to the gods,” said Leone, executive director of Missouri Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Stores. “Our entire focus of our resources and our effort has been to defeat Amendment 3.”

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Supporters of Missouri’s non-partisan court plan say Tuesday’s rejection of Amendment Three sends a strong message that voters embrace the current system for selecting nominees for the State Supreme Court, Appeals courts and a few of the state's circuit courts.

Had it passed, it would have given the governor more say into selecting panel members – currently the governor is limited to selecting the non-lawyer panel members, but language approved by the Secretary of State’s office said the amendment would have allowed the governor to “appoint all lawyers” to the panels.  Missouri Bar President Pat Starke says he doesn’t think the language was misleading, as has been contended by Amendment Three’s supporters.

Robert Peterson / St. Louis Public Radio

In the last of four discussions as part of our town hall meeting about statewide ballot issues we take a look at Amendment 3, concerning proposed changes to the way some judges are selected in Missouri.

Host Don Marsh talks with Republican state Senator Jim Lembke of St. Louis County and former Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court William Ray Price, Jr.  Lembke says Amendment 3 is a step in the right direction while Price opposes it.

Official Ballot Title: (source: Missouri Secretary of State website)

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Updated at 5:33 p.m. to include quotes from one of the Republican sponsors of Amendment Three and from the Sec. of State's Communications Director.

Citing what they call "deliberately deceptive and hopelessly biased ballot language," supporters of a measure that would change the way some appellate judges are selected in Missouri say they will not campaign for their ballot measure.