Special Interest Groups Launch Campaign to Defeat “Merit” Selection Reform
August 28, 2012
Not surprisingly, the Missouri Bar is leading a campaign to defeat a November ballot initiative that would weaken the power of legal special interest groups – like the Bar itself – to hand-pick Missouri judges. Under the state’s current “merit” selection system, groups like the Missouri Bar and the Missouri Trial Lawyers Association control the judicial nominating commission.
As a result, Bar/trial lawyer-cronies are often nominated to the bench. The proposed change would allow the elected governor – not unelected lawyers – to have the controlling vote on the judicial nominating commission. While hardly perfect, the reform would at least introduce some additional public accountability into a system that has been captured by special interest groups.