The Missouri Bar’s new president comes into his role during a simmering fight over the way appellate judges are chosen in this state.

Attorney Charlie Harris of Kansas City says Missouri’s Non-Partisan Court Plan has been unfairly attacked of late. Harris says the plan is far from broke. He says it has provided Missouri with fair, knowledgeable and impartial judges.

The Missouri Bar , which represents lawyers in the state, advocates for the Missouri Court Plan. It claims the Plan has kept politics to a minimum in judge selection for nearly three-quarters of a century. Several conservative groups have called for it to be modified or scrapped with the governor given more power to choose judges. Those groups argue that there is no way to keep politics out of the selection process.

Harris dismisses suggestions that he is stepping into the fire of controversy as he steps into his new role. Harris says he views the controversy as an opportunity to educate Missourians about the benefits of the Missouri Court Plan.

Download/listen Brent Martin reports (:60 MP3)