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

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Kansas Gov. Brownback to Pursue Judicial Selection Reform

In this State of the State address this evening, Brownback "promised to take another run at a constitutional amendment that would give him and future governors the authority to pick the justices on the state Supreme Court, with the consent of the Senate", according to the Wichita Eagle which, unfortunately, uses the propagandistic phrase "merit system" to describe the current Kansas Supreme Court selection process. The Eagle describes the current system as involving "a commission of lawyers and lay people" but does not point out the controversial and undemocratic aspect of this system: Kansas is the only state that allows its bar to select a majority of the nominating commission.

As the Eagle says, "The Legislature already changed the selection process for the state Court of Appeals, but changing it for the Supreme Court would require a constitutional amendment."

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