Supporters of Missouri's current system for selecting appellate judges say they plan to fight against efforts to change the process, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Missourians will vote in November on a constitutional amendment that would give the governor an additional appointee on the judicial nominating committee and increase the number of nominees that are referred to the governor from three to four.
A group of retired state Supreme Court judges and business and community leaders have launched a committee called Missourians for Fair and Impartial Courts in support of the current process, which the state has used since 1940. “Every Missourian deserves to have a fair and level playing field when they walk into a Missouri court room,” recently retired Supreme Court Judge William Ray Price said during a conference call with reporters Thursday. “They don't deserve to enter a courtroom that has been influenced by politics and money.” The current process for filling vacancies on the state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals is supported by the Missouri Bar, but some legislators and other critics of the Missouri Plan say it gives too much power to lawyers and cannot be held accountable by voters.