Senate endorses judicial selection changes

Missouri senators moved voters one step closer to a statewide election on changing the way the state’s appeals and Supreme Court judges are chosen.

“Over the years, there have been a lot of different ideas put forward on this issue,” state Sen. Jim Lembke, the proposal’s sponsor and a long-time advocate of changing the current system, told colleagues at the beginning of a four-hour debate.

“I think that the changes are commonsense changes to the Missouri Plan, that will allow Missourians to exercise more accountability over the selection process.”

Missouri’s Nonpartisan Court Plan, sometimes called the “Missouri Plan,” has been operating since Jan. 1, 1942, after voters approved it in November 1940.

On a voice vote, the Senate on Thursday afternoon gave its first-round approval to the proposed constitutional amendment.

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