If the petition receives enough signatures it will be placed on a state wide ballot, and then left up to the state’s citizens for approval.
The current Missouri Plan picks judges through a nominating committee. The committee picks three candidates they see fit for the position, and then the governor chooses one for the position as a judge.
The two petitions would amend Article V of the state’s constitution. The petitions involve Supreme and Appellate Court judges.
The amendments would entail:
The main focus of these amendments repeals the state’s current plan.
There is a difference between electing politicians and electing judges, Pat Starke, immediate former president of the Missouri Bar Association said.
“What we all want from people whose responsibility it is to adjudicate is fairness." he said. "We want them to give both sides a fair shake and to come at each particular set of circumstances with their sole agenda being a fair application of the law to the facts at hand.”
Starke said the petition would allow judges to start advocating for the party that elected them.
The Adam Smith Foundation, a strong supporter of the repeal, and its’ President John Elliott, who submitted the bill were unavailable for comment.
The foundation’s website states the Missouri Plan appoints judges who do not uphold the laws of the Constitution and are not based on merit.
The Adam Smith Foundation’s website states, “That is why we support reform efforts which will ensure the appointment of judges who pledge to uphold the Constitution and exhibit humility and judicial restraint.”
Increasing the number of judges would be costly as well. An estimated 6.2 million dollars would be dedicated to building construction and renovation to make room for the added judges.
Votes will be collected in May 2014.