JEFFERSON CITY - A group of former state Supreme Court judges spoke out against a ballot measure Thursday that would change the selection process for Missouri's top judges.
The former judges are members of Missourians for Fair and Impartial Courts Committee, a group formed to oppose Amendment 3. The amendment was approved by state lawmakers during the 2012 legislative session. It would give the governor the power to appoint a majority of the commission members tasked with selecting nominees for non-partisan judgeships.
Retired Supreme Court Justice William Ray Price said supporters of the amendment are attempting to "concentrate power" in the executive branch.
"They want to be able to buy judicial appointments like they try and buy everything else in Jefferson City," Price said.
The group is comprised of the former Missouri Supreme Court judges as well as business and community leaders, according to a statement put out by the group.
Senator Jim Lembke, R-Saint Louis County, sponsored the amendment while it was before legislators. Lembke said it will give the executive branch the power to properly check the judicial branch.
"This idea that the current system is not political is a fallacy," Lembke said. "It is political, except it's just controlled by a very small group of Missourians."
Missourians will be able to vote for the amendment on Nov. 6.