Judicial Selection Process

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Activists on both sides of the ongoing battle over how Missouri judges are chosen are paying close attention to a new wave of initiative-petition proposals that would transform the state’s highest judges from gubernatorial appointees into elected officials.

In effect, the proposals would do away with Missouri’s 70-year-old nonpartisan court plan for filling judgeships.

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.

(via Flickr/s_falkow)

A proposed constitutional amendment to revise the selection process for appellate judges is headed to Missouri voters.

Members of the Missouri Supreme Court and the state Court of Appeals are appointed by the governor from three finalists recommended by a special commission. The commission is made up of one Supreme Court judge, three lawyers and three non-lawyers picked by the governor.

(via Flickr/s_falkow)

Updated 4: 14 p.m.

Missouri senators have endorsed changes in the procedure for nominating candidates for the state Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.

A seven-member commission screens applicants for vacancies on the state's high court and the three districts of the Court of Appeals. The panel recommends three finalists, from which the governor makes the appointment.

The commission is currently made up of a judge, three lawyers and three people selected by the governor.