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New Harris Poll Released; American Public Strongly Favors the Direct Election of State Court Judges

October 21st, 2008 by MarkTwain · No Comments

Today the American Bar Association released a Harris Poll confirming what we already knew:  The American public strongly favors the direct election of state court judges.

In this poll, only 19% favored the selection of judges by a system like the Missouri Plan. Further, assuming the existence of screening commissions at the federal level, only 24% believe lawyers should be on the commissions. Right now, in Missouri, nominating commissions are controlled by a majority of lawyers.

These results are consistent with previous polling done by The Polling Company and The Federalist Society in Missouri: The survey revealed that most Missourians know little about the way the justices on their highest court are selected. However, after being given a few facts and figures about the Missouri Plan, voters rejected the status quo and demanded a more open, transparent process and a transfer of power away from the State Bar and into the hands of elected (and therefore accountable) officials.

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Tags: MO Supreme Court

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  • 1 Sylvester James, Jr // Oct 22, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    With all due respect. These are the same “American People” who have a difficult time voting when candidates have hundreds of millions of dollars that they spend to promote themselves on endless commercials over extended periods of time? And somehow, they will be able to decide who will be a good judge and who will not based on what? Clearly the public will not take the time to attend trials or read opinions or decisions in order to learn first hand how a judge attends to his/her duties. So then, what is left? Commercials run by competing political ideological groups whose real purpose is to stack the courts in order to promote their own specific agendas? BAD IDEA!!

  • 2 JasonB // Oct 22, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    “So then, what is left? Commercials run by competing political ideological groups whose real purpose is to stack the courts in order to promote their own specific agendas? BAD IDEA!!” – agree wholeheartedly.

    That’s why is it is a bad idea to let the trial attorneys keep picking judges for themselves and not we the people.

    I know trial attorneys want us to believe they are doing what is best for us but in fact – they are doing what is best for them.

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