Judicial elections, democratic appointment (e.g., senate confirmation), and the Missouri Plan (a/k/a "merit selection")

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Kansas Gov. Brownback to pick Supreme Court Justice under System he Opposes

To his credit, in my view, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback wants to move Kansas Supreme Court selection from a particularly extreme version of the Missouri Plan to a democratically-legitimate method of judicial selection, such as the US Constitution's senate confirmation system, which Kansas last year adopted for its Court of Appeals.

The first vacancy on the Kansas Supreme Court of Gov. Brownback's time in office has just arisen so the governor may be required to use the high-court selection system he opposes.  As the very good state-house reporter John Hanna writes:

Moritz's confirmation gives conservative Republican Gov. Sam Brownback his first chance to appoint someone to the seven-member Kansas Supreme Court. However, under the state constitution, a nominating commission will screen applications and name three finalists for Brownback, and legislators will have no role after his appointment.

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