Farris Law Blog

Our Court system, and Your rights are in the Balance this Election Day!

Election Day is right around the corner. One measure on the ballot is Amendment 3, which will force appellate court judges to run for election rather than be appointed.  The Missouri Plan for judicial selection is a model around the nation, and for good reason. Judicial panels are selected by bipartisan committees and then a judge is chosen from the panel and  appointed by the governor. The Missouri Plan takes much of the politics out of judicial office. Tons of money is flowing into Missouri to destroy this process, and there is a reason- they think our courts are for sale.

Imagine that your child is killed by a drunk truck driver. You sue in court, and the Jury finds in your favor. Typically, the defendant will file an appeal. Now imagine that the Court of Appeals judge hearing the appeal received a substantial campaign donation from the defendant AND refuses to disqualify himself from the case. Sound far fetched? Nope- a similar thing happened just a couple of years ago in West Virginia. When appellate judges worry about reelection instead of doing right, justice is no longer blind.

No one has accused Missouri high court judges of incompetence. No one has accused them of being political pawns. Why then, do out of state special interest groups care about Missouri Courts? Do they want to attack our gun ownership rights? Steal our jobs? I have no idea about their motives, but I am certainly suspicious. If a secret group from outside our state (these folks remain anonymous, by the way) wants to influence our court system, I assume it is for a reason that Missourians wouldn’t support. If Show Me State residents wanted to change the way we selected judges, there would be a reason, and  we would all know about the problem with our Courts. What are these special interest groups trying to do? 

The Missouri Bar is against this amendment. Respected current and past judges are against this amendment. Missourians are against this amendment. Learn the facts about Amendment 3. Don’t wake up on Election Day and find a “for sale” sign in the courthouse lawn!

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