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“Missourians for Fair and Impartial Courts” Respond to Court Plan | Missouri Political News Service

“Missourians for Fair and Impartial Courts” Respond to Court Plan

November 9th, 2007 by mopns · No Comments

Court Plan Detractors Mislead the Public, Push Politics Over Fairness

For Immediate Release
Contact: Chip Robertson
November 9, 2007
(573) 230-4665

Jefferson City – St. Louis attorney William Placke’s plan to undermine the Missouri Non Partisan Court Plan for choosing judges is being circulated in an attempt to convince voters that the Plan denies them input to the judicial selection and retention process.

“This revamping of the plan in the guise of giving the public more involvement in the process is a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” said Chip Robertson, former chief justice and spokesman of Missourians for Fair and Impartial Courts. “We believe Mr. Placke’s plan would do more to inject politics into the process than the proposals put forth during the last legislative session would have.

“In fact, if a proposal like this were ever adopted, we’d be operating under what I’d call the ‘totally partisan court plan.'”

MFIC partners believe giving the legislative and executive branches of state government increased control over the third branch – an independent judiciary – would actually detract from an individual’s level of participation in the process.

Placke has said that his concepts are based on the precepts put forth by the American Judicature Society, an independent national organization that advocates an independent judiciary. However, Seth Andersen, Executive Vice President of AJS, disagrees with that assertion, saying there are “key differences” between “the merit selection plan AJS has promoted since its inception” and Placke’s proposal.

Robertson said MFIC members aren’t alone in their belief that the implied endorsement of a credible group such as AJS is distracting.

“Any proposal to add politics to picking Missouri judges endangers public faith in the fairness of Missouri’s courts,” said Bert Brandenburg of Justice at Stake, a nonpartisan national partnership working to keep courts fair and impartial.

“Everyone wants courts to be accountable,” said Brandenburg. “But it’s important that they be accountable to the Constitution and the law, not to politicians and special interest groups.”
To join MFIC in its fight to maintain fair and impartial courts in Missouri and keep them free from political interference, visit www.protectjustice.org




Tags: MO Supreme Court

0 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Bill Placke // Nov 11, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    Under the current judicial appointment system, judges appoint their successors and lawyers appoint the judges who they then appear before to decide the cases. The proposed plan follows from both New York and Delaware, two of the leading states in jurisprudence. Currently 11 states have a form of legislative confirmation of nominees; not to mention the manner in which the federal judges have been appointed and confirmed for the past 200 years. Will Mr. Robertson or any person at all claim that Missouri’s current judicial appointment system is not based on partisan politics? How does Mr. Robertson explain his own appointment to the bench as not being purely political? Moreover, if the process works so well, why is it hidden from the public. What’s to hide?

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