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.
The Missouri Supreme Court has refused to overturn the conviction of Kenneth Baumruk, who was sentenced to die for killing his wife and wounding four others in a 1992 St. Louis County Courthouse shooting rampage.
It wasn't clear if the Missouri Attorney General's office would seek an execution date following the ruling on Tuesday. A spokeswoman declined comment. Baumruk's attorney did not return a message seeking comment.
At 73, Baumruk is the oldest man on Missouri's Death Row.
The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld new boundaries for state House districts based upon the 2010 census.
The high court issued a one-line ruling Tuesday upholding the new districts and saying a longer opinion would be issued sometime in the future. The ruling came about three hours before Tuesday's 5 p.m. deadline for candidates to file for this year's elections.
The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in a lawsuit challenging the new State House redistricting map.
The map’s opponents raised similar objections as those who’ve challenged the congressional and State Senate district maps drawn up last year: Like the Senate map, plaintiffs claimed, in written statements, that the six-judge panel that drew up the House map did so behind closed doors and thus violated the state’s Sunshine law. Robert Hess, one of the attorneys defending the map, said the panel was not subject to the Sunshine law.