Judge selection method open to vote under proposed amendment

Thursday, February 21, 2008 | 4:23 p.m. CST; updated 2:16 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

JEFFERSON CITY — Critics of the way some Missouri judges are selected today filed a proposed constitutional amendment to let voters pick a new method.

Judges for the state Supreme Court, three appeals courts and some trial courts are picked by a selection committee. A judge, lawyers chosen by the Missouri Bar and citizens nominated by the governor serve on the panel.

Critics instead want the governor to select all commission members and have the Senate confirm the nominees. Current judges would be barred from the committee.

Every 10 years, voters also would automatically vote on one of four selection methods. The choices would be partisan elections, nonpartisan elections, nominating commissions or gubernatorial appointments with Senate confirmation.

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