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Judicial reform resolution likely dead

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – A proposed constitutional amendment that would give the governor more say in selecting judges for the State Supreme Court and lower courts will most likely die in the Missouri Senate.

The sponsor, State Senator Jim Lembke (R, St. Louis Co.) made that admission during floor debate today.

But he expressed confidence that an alternate version will make it onto the 2010 ballot via petition drive.

"We have a small special interest group, in particular lawyers, picking the judges in this state...we want to change it to how it's done at the federal level, where the president puts forth the nominee and the Senate confirms," Lembke said.

Currently, nominating panels choose three finalists for vacant judgeships in jurisdictions where the Missouri Plan is used. The governor then chooses from among the finalists.

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