Dissatisfaction among Republicans with the three candidates to fill a vacancy on the State Supreme Court has led some to openly question the Missouri Non-Partisan Court Plan.
Governor Blunt has an opportunity to be the first Republican governor to appoint a Supreme Court Judge in 15 years. The Appellate Judicial Commission, a non-partisan commission, has forwarded three appeals court judges as finalists: Nannette Baker, Patricia Breckenridge and Ronald Holliger. Only Breckenridge received appointment to the bench by a Republican.
That alone has led some Republicans to question the panel. Attorney Bill Placke, a Republican who is president of the St. Louis Chapter of the Federalist Society, says the Appellate Judicial Commission has put the governor in a difficult position. Placke says the commission, in effect, has made the choice by forwarding only one Republican name to the governor. Placke argues that the governor should be given candidates more in-line with his political philosophy.
Placke says the candidates forwarded to the governor has inflamed smoldering criticism of the Missouri Plan among many Republicans who have called for changed, ranging from minor tweaking to complete overhaul. He says even if someone agrees that the Missouri Plan is the right model, the question arises as to why the model didn’t work this time.
The governor’s office has accused the commission of withholding information about the three candidates, claiming the applications are incomplete.