On November 7th, citizens who want to keep a good court system in Missouri should vote AGAINST a proposed Constitutional Amendment to weaken our judicial system.
Our Missouri Non-Partisan Court Plan, known around the country as "The Missouri Plan" is Missouri's Constitutional system for selecting appellate judges and trial judges in St. Louis, Kansas City, Clay County, Platte County and most recently Green County (Springfield). More than 30 states have adopted our Missouri system of selection of judges.
Missouri's Non-Partisan Court Plan has produced a steady stream of competent judges for the past 75 years. Outsiders are planning on spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in an attempt to pass a Constitutional Amendment changing this plan. They want to put politics back into our system of selecting judges.
Under "The Missouri Plan," no politician or interest group controls the selection process of our judges. The commission is comprised by three separate entities; the Governor appoints three members, a lawyer is elected by their peers from each of the three appellate districts, and a judge from the Supreme Court serves 2 years. The Governor's appointments are non-lawyers.
The proposed ballot measure would give the next Governor and all future governors the right to appoint a majority of the members of the Appellate Judicial Commission and thus control the process. Thus, the Governor's major contributors, with no campaign limits in Missouri at this time, will have substantial influence over the appointments. Our current governor opposes this change, even though it would give him more control over judicial selection. He knows it puts politics back into the selection of judges which is wrong.
This ballot measure, known as Amendment 3, will be on the November 2012 ballot. A small group of big money individuals are exerting their special interest in taking over your Missouri courts. They do not want impartial courts. They want to be able to put pressure on future governors which will serve their economic and political interests.
The Missouri Non-Partisan Court Plan for 75 years has provided well-qualified impartial judges to the citizens of Missouri without corruption or activism. Outside interests are using our state as the first domino in their plan to destabilize courts everywhere.
These special interests have failed to produce evidence that our system does not work. It is important to defeat this highly political proposed change in our Missouri Constitution.