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Review committee releases findings on Missouri judges for November ballot

All 56 Missouri judges who are up for retention election on the Nov. 8 ballot have been found to meet judicial performance standards.

The independent committee surveys lawyers and jurors to conduct the review.

The Missouri Judicial Performance Review Committee has 21 members that include lawyers, non-lawyers and three judges.

“This program helps make sure that the votes cast Nov. 8, those for or against the retention of judges are based on objective information about the performance of individual judges,” Larry Tucker, the Committee Chair, said.

The Missouri Bar is responsible for sharing the committee’s findings with the public.

The committee exists as a part of the Missouri Nonpartisan court plan. The plan has been used for 74 years, but it made recent changes to give voters more information about the judges.

The Judicial Performance Review Committee evaluates the performance of nonpartisan judges who are seeking retention in the next election.

“Now, more so than ever before, Missouri voters have more objective information to help them cast their vote when it comes to up for retention,” Tucker said.

The committee votes on whether they believe a judge substantially meets overall judicial performance standards. Each judge is asked to provide up to five written opinions for the committee to review.

The lawyers on the committee take a survey rating the judges from one to five, with five being the best.

The jurors who were chosen to review the judges are people who have served on a jury before the trial judges within the last two years.

The review committee assesses the performance of the judges, the court of appeals, and each judicial circuit whose judges are selected through the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan.

The results of the committee’s findings become public either on or before Oct. 1.

For more information, go to yourmissourijudges.org

Grace Pankey is a student at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She's a member of the Missouri on Mic team.