Your Opinion: Amendment 3 opposed

Dear Editor:

We Missourians should be proud of our 72-year-old Non-partisan Court Plan. It is a model to the nation and has been followed, in some fashion, in 33 other states.

We were the first state to adopt a system for appointing appellate judges (and trial judges in the major metropolitan areas) that relies on a non-partisan commission to screen judicial candidates based on merit and not politics or partisanship.

Yet, our ballots on Nov. 6 will include Amendment 3, which would change our non-partisan court plan to give politicians more direct control over the appointment of judges.

I do not know who is funding this effort, but it is ill-conceived. Our existing court plan was adopted by vote of the people in 1940 to counter the increasing role of politics in judicial selection and judicial decision-making. It protects judges from outside political influences and keeps them deciding cases rather than campaigning for office. It has worked exceptionally well and continues to do so.

Put most simply, Amendment 3 is a solution in search of a problem. I encourage Missourians to vote no on Amendment 3.

Vote to keep politics out of our courtrooms


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