appellate judges

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A Missouri appeals court panel has upheld the ballot summary for a proposed constitutional amendment that would change the process for selecting appellate judges.

In its ruling Monday, a three-judge panel of the Western District Court of Appeals certified the summary that voters will see on the November ballot.

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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:

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Defenders of Missouri's method for selecting appellate judges are fighting a proposed constitutional amendment that would change the system.

Judges on the Missouri Supreme Court and the state Court of Appeals are selected by the governor from three finalists recommended by a special commission. The commission consists of one Supreme Court judge, three lawyers and three non-lawyers chosen by the governor.

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Two ballot questions going before Missouri voters in November won’t cost or save the state any money, according the State Auditor’s office.

One in particular would make changes to how appellate judges are selected.  The fiscal note for that measure was put together by Deputy Auditor Harry Otto.

“(We contacted) four statewide offices, 20 other departments/agencies, the House and Senate," Otto said.  "Out of those 24 places that we contacted we received comments from 16, and all 16 said ‘no costs associated with this measure.’”