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The Consequences of Judicial Selection: A Review of the Supreme Court of Missouri, 1992-2007

Judicial selection is on the public agenda in Missouri. Leaders in all three branches of state government - executive, legislative, and judicial - agree that the current process is ripe for reform. According to Speaker of the House Rod Jetton, "It doesn't appear to me that the nonpartisan court plan is working very well. It appears to be partisan." Reflecting on his own two terms as governor, United States Senator Kit Bond agrees. Governor Matt Blunt favors the federal model for appointment of judges. In his most recent State of the Judiciary address, Chief Justice Michael Wolff asked the Missouri Bar to devise a judicial evaluation system that is independent, nonpartisan, and more easily accessible to the public. The vacancy on the Supreme Court created by Judge Ronnie White's resignation makes this topic all the more relevant.