JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A state constitutional amendment, that would have increased political influence in the way Missouri judges are selected, is dead. House members voted 83-69 against it and supporters have abandoned a petition drive to put it on the November ballot.
Judges on the Missouri Supreme Court, three appeals courts and trial courts in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas are chosen by nominating committees composed of a judge, lawyers chosen by the Missouri Bar and citizens picked by the governor. The committee submits three names to the governor, who chooses the judge.
The amendment would have required the nominating committees to be confirmed by the Senate, removed judges from the committees, increased the number of non-lawyer members and increased the number of nominees given to the governor to five.
Trial judges outside of St. Louis and Kansas City are elected in partisan elections.
The amendment won preliminary approval by 80-63 vote on Monday, but needed another vote with at least 82 supporters to move to the state Senate.