Ballot proposal submitted to change how Missouri picks some judges

Sunday, May 2, 2010 | 5:47 p.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — Critics of Missouri's method of selecting appeals court and some urban trial judges have submitted a ballot measure to overhaul the process.

Currently, people interested in becoming judges apply to special nominating panels that forward three finalists to the governor, who then appoints one. That system is used for the state Supreme Court; three regional appeals courts; and trial courts in St. Louis city and Clay, Greene, Jackson, Platte and St. Louis counties. The judges then stand for periodic retention elections.

A ballot measure submitted Sunday would replace that with partisan elections for all judges. Critics of the nominating committees argue that they are too secretive and are excessively influenced by trial attorneys.

Defenders of the current system contend it works and warn that partisan elections could make things more political.

Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.