A Senate leader has asked the Attorney General to investigate whether the Judicial Appellate Commission violated the Sunshine Law in the deliberations it used to choose three nominees for the State Supreme Court.

Senate Majority Floor Leader Charlie Shields (R-St. Joseph) has made the request in writing to Attorney General Jay Nixon, a Democrat. Shields isn’t satisfied with the Appellate Commission’s assertion that the state constitution and Supreme Court rules place it outside the Sunshine Law. Shields says he would like the Attorney General to investigate that claim and assess its validity.

Criticism of the process prompted the Appellate Commission to issue a two-page letter defending its action, stating it has discharged its constitutional duty to nominate three persons for Governor Blunt to consider.

Attorney General Nixon says Shields raises serious concerns and says he will work with the senator to review his concerns.

Criticism of the process has increased among many Republicans who are unhappy with the panel from which Governor Blunt must choose the next member of the State Supreme Court. They point out two of the three candidates were placed on the bench by a Democrat and only one by a Republican.

Download/listen Brent Martin reports (:60 MP3)