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Hulshof proposes changes to Mo. court plan

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By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – Republican nominee for Governor Kenny Hulshof is proposing changes to the state's system for selecting judges to the Missouri Supreme Court and lower courts.

The proposals were laid out in a press release issued today.

In it, Hulshof said trial lawyers have too much influence on who gets nominated for court vacancies.

His plan would replace the three trial lawyers on the Appellate Judicial Commission with two retired appellate judges and one current circuit judge who would come from anywhere except Cole County.

The Chief Justice would be removed as chair of the commission and replaced with a retired Supreme Court judge.

Also, the number of nominees for court vacancies would be expanded from three to five.

The biggest change: The governor would be allowed to veto up to two slates of nominees, and at that point name his own, who would then need Senate confirmation.

In the press release, Hulshof said the changes will remove politics from the process and ensure fairness and balance.

Hulshof was unavailable for direct comment. A campaign official told KWMU that he had to fly back to Washington DC.

Hulshof currently serves as Missouri's 9th District U.S. Representative.

A spokesman for Democratic nominee Jay Nixon said the Missouri Plan already keeps politics out of the judicial nominating process, and has served as a model for other states.

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