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Judge selection to become more transparent

(Wikimedia Commons User Jonathunder)

By Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis, MO. – Missouri's chief justice is making changes to the system for choosing judges, some groups fight to do away with it altogether.

Justice William Ray Price, Jr., said the state's method for choosing judges keeps politics out of the courts, but he said the Missouri Plan could be more transparent.

Currently a commission of lawyers and citizens chooses three nominees for a judgeship that are then sent to the governor.

Price has ordered that the candidate's interviews with the commission be open to the public.

"The people of Missouri deserve to hear the candidates' statements and they deserve to hear the questions asked by the commission and the answers given," Price said. "Now they will."

Missouri residents also will be able to nominate candidates for judgeships, and the number of votes for each of the final three nominees will be made public.

Earlier this year there was an effort to put an initiative on the November ballot asking whether all Missouri judges should be elected.


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