A group of lawyers, ordinary citizens, and the Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court will soon help decide who will be the next State Supreme Court Judge. Over the next month or so, the State Appellate Judicial Commission will be looking at applicants for the State Supreme Court opening now that Judge Duane Benton is a federal judge. Supreme Court spokesperson Beth Riggert says as the applications come in, they’ll be whittled down to just a few for Governor Bob Holden to consider. Riggert says the Governor has to pick one of the three or the Commission will have to pick one for him. She says Missouri’s system is widely respected in the legal community with more than 30 other states adopting provisions of it. Riggert says it’s respected because selection is based on merit, not political clout. Riggert says since the process could take a few months to play out, it’s not impossible the Court might hear cases with just six judges, but she says that’s been done before without problem.
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