Members of the Appellate Judicial Commission have responded to a leading senator’s invitation to discuss how nominees to the State Supreme Court are chosen.

Sen. Charlie Shields (R-St. Joseph), the Majority Floor Leader, has received a letter from the Appellate Judicial Commission, accepting his invitation to meet with the Senate Rules Commission, at least somewhat. The commission has agreed to have Supreme Court Chief Justice Laura Denvir Stith appear before the Senate Rules Committee to speak on behalf of the commission.

Shields says that he would like for the entire commission to attend the meeting September 11 th , but says the appearance of Stith is a step in the right direction.

Shields insists he isn’t politicizing the Non-Partisan Missouri Court Plan, that he is going into the meeting with Chief Justice Stith with an open mind and that he has no plans to drastically change the Missouri Plan.

Shields has joined with other Republicans who contend the process to choose appellate judges should be more open. Shields acknowledges that much of the unhappiness stems from a dissatisfaction with the three appellate judges the commission has nominated for a vacancy on the State Supreme Court.

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