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Letter: Scrapping Missouri’s court plan would lead to partisan wars

Letter: Scrapping Missouri’s court plan would lead to partisan wars

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Missouri Supreme Court

The Missouri Supreme Court, circa 2020. Photo courtesy of state court's website. 

Regarding Tony Messenger’s column “Missouri GOP seeks to politicize state court, while accusing Biden of doing the same” (April 19): Almost every year, a bill is filed in the Missouri Legislature to change the way judicial selection happens in our state. Those bills never go very far. Why? Because Missourians already created the best current system to select judges.

Sen. Rick Brattin, R-Harrisonville, has put forth a bill (SJR 14) that seeks to replace our non-partisan Missouri Plan and replace it with the federal system, in which a president nominates his judge and the Senate approves or disapproves the choice. The federal system brings concerns about the influence of partisan politics. At a time when partisan politics is at its most divisive, why would we want to introduce that into the judiciary?

On the other hand, 37 states use the Missouri Plan. The reasons are clear. Our plan is the best system we have to prevent the invasion of political money into the judiciary. In addition, it is the plan that ensures the most diversity on the bench and keeps the power of special interest groups at bay.

The nominating commission created by the Missouri Plan ensures that no one person or political party has too much influence over judicial selection. Our plan calls for retention elections, which provide a way for voters to have a say without introducing campaigns and political dollars into the process.

Missouri families deserve better than to bring more political games into our judicial nomination process.

Ellen Alper • Creve Coeur

National Council of Jewish Women

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