Fifty-one judges who face retention votes under the nonpartisan court plan in November have been evaluated by a special commission and the lawyers that have been before them. Fifty of them have passed.
The judges serve in Jackson, Cass, Clay, and Greene Counties as well as in St. Louis City and County. Judges on the state supreme court and the state appeals courts also are included. They do not run for re-election but instead stand for retention.
An 84-member committee of laymen and attorneys studies evaluations of their performance by fellow judges and by the lawyers that appear before them and recommends whether voters should give the judge another term.
Any judge scoring less than a 2.85 composite score is considered unfit for retention. Associate Circuit Judge Dale Hood of St. Louis County failed 16 of 18 categories in the lawyers’ ratings. Fellow judges also gave him low scores.
Regardless of scores, votes make the decision. Four years ago, the commission also recommended Hood not be retained. But 54 percent of the voters put him back on the bench.