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Critics of Missouri judicial selection process submit overhaul plan

By AP/St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – Critics of Missouri's method of selecting appeals court and some urban trial judges have submitted a ballot measure to overhaul the process.

For decades, nominating panels have submitted finalists to the governor, who appoints one. And then judges then stand for periodic retention elections.

A ballot measure submitted Sunday would replace that system with partisan elections for all judges.

Critics say the nominating committees are secretive and attorneys have too much power.

But defenders of the current system say it works well, and they warn partisan elections could over-politicize the judicial selection process.