Missouri: Changes to state’s merit/commission selection system for judges clear Senate committee; Senate leader decries courts that have “gone rogue”

A plan to change the way Missouri’s merit/commission system of judicial selection has cleared the Senate General Laws Committee. At the same time, the leader of the state’s senate has indicated he may move to simply eliminate the merit/commission system entirely accusing the state’s supreme court of “going rogue” and his desire to see more conservatives on the bench.

Currently the nominating commissions for the state’s appellate courts and select Circuit Courts must send “three persons” to the governor.

the governor shall fill such vacancy by appointing one of three persons possessing the qualifications for such office, who shall be nominated and whose names shall be submitted to the governor by a nonpartisan judicial commission

An introduced, SJR 11 eliminated the “three persons” language.

As approved by the committee, however, the language now requires the commissions send “all qualified nominees”.

Such list of names shall include all qualified nominees and shall not be limited in number, but shall contain at least three nominees.

SJR 11 now goes to full Senate.