GOP's Greitens Wants to Change How Missouri Picks Judges

Oct 26, 2016

Credit Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

  Republican gubernatorial candidate Eric Greitens says he wants Missouri to change the way it selects judges.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Greitens supports a Tennessee procedure that gives the governor and Legislature more influence in picking judges. He believes the current system gives trial lawyers too much influence on judicial appointments.

Currently, attorneys appointed by the Missouri Bar Association and residents appointed by the governor review judicial applications and submit three finalists to the governor, who picks the judge. At the end of the judges' terms, voters choose whether to retain them.

Tennessee's plan allows the governor to appoint judges without input from attorneys or residents. The Legislature must approve each judge and they face retention votes every eight years.

Democratic candidate Chris Koster favors the current system.