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Transparency in Judicial Selection Process Moves Forward with Bipartisan Backing

March 26th, 2009 by mopns · No Comments

House Joint Resolution 10 (HJR 10), a measure that would allow Missourians the opportunity to decide whether they want more transparency in the state’s judicial selection system, was passed out of the Missouri House of Representatives Special Standing Committee on General Laws today with a bipartisan vote. HJR 10 is similar to Senate Joint Resolution 9 (SJR 9) which recently had a hearing before the Governmental Accountability & Fiscal Oversight Committee in the Missouri Senate.

“I am glad to see this commonsense measure to add transparency to our courts move forward so all Missourians can have access to a fair and impartial judiciary,” stated Lt. Governor Peter Kinder.

“Our efforts to add transparency to the Missouri Plan are gaining steam,” stated James Harris, Executive Director of Better Courts for Missouri.  “These modest changes to the Missouri Plan will simply give average citizens more input into who is chosen as their Judges.  Currently liberal personal injury attorneys have a majority control of the judicial selection process and that is not good for average Missourians,” added Harris.

Business people and legal scholars testified in favor of HJR 10.  They spoke of how currently the process is closed to public scrutiny and lamented the influence that special interest groups, including the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys, had on the process and that these groups had a strong financial interest in who sits on the judiciary.

Related: CCP Blogger Sends Fundraising Appeal to Sitting Judges’ Official Email Accounts

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Tags: MO Legislature · MO Supreme Court

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