Missouri court plan critics propose ballot measure
Monday, July 13, 2009 | 12:34 p.m. CDT
JEFFERSON CITY — Critics of the way Missouri picks judges want to ask voters to overhaul the process.
Currently, all applicants for appeals courts and some urban trial courts are screened by special committees. The panels nominate three finalists and the governor appoints one to the court.
A group on Monday announced a 2010 ballot initiative that would scrap the current process for one that more closely resembles how federal judges are picked. They propose letting the governor appoint whomever he chooses, subject to Senate confirmation.
Missouri's current system was created to reduce the politics of partisan judicial elections. Over the past several years, some Republicans have complained that the nominating committees have been hijacked by trial attorneys and favor liberals.
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