When Missouri voters go to the polls in November, they should oppose changing the state’s nationally recognized merit selection plan for choosing judges, an editorial in the (Springfield, Mo.) News-Leader urges.
Defenders of the merit selection plan contend that the changes contained in a proposed constitutional amendment would destroy the system, while supporters of the proposed revisions portray them as a modest tweaking of the system (see Gavel Grab).
Under the proposal, the governor would get more influence over choosing members of a judicial nominating commission that screens candidates for the state Supreme Court and the state Court of Appeals. In addition, a state Supreme Court judge would be removed from a voting position on the commission.
“The change in the Missouri Plan … will accomplish little, including its stated reason — providing more accountability when judges make unpopular decisions,” the editorial states. It says the resolution’s sponsor, state Sen. Jim Lembke, is “fixing no real problem with a change that offers no real solution.”
To read more on merit selection in Missouri, see Gavel Grab.