Late last week Missouri’s judicial-nominating commission selected the three nominees from which Gov. Jay Nixon must choose the state’s next supreme-court justice. ...
Three of the commission’s seven members have extremely strong ties to the state’s trial lawyers, and the chairman, Chief Justice Richard Teitelman, is on the board of the Soros-funded American Judicature Society. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the commission came through with a trial lawyer’s wish-list.
The Missouri Plan was designed to produce precisely this sort of result. The progressive legal reformers who came up with the idea saw it as the surest way of placing control over judicial selection in the hands of “experts,” left-leaning bar apparatchiks. ... It does so by allowing a commission, usually lawyer-dominated, to make the judicial nominations. Not surprisingly, this structure benefits the special-interest group that dominates the state bar: trial lawyers. Textbook agency-capture.
Justice O’Connor and her allies in various Soros-funded groups have been campaigning across the country on the argument that the Missouri Plan is a non-political method for selecting judges. ... They argue that, unlike the federal model or contested elections, the Missouri Plan removes partisanship and money from the equation and forces “merit” ahead of philosophical considerations.
As the Wall Street Journal documented (see here and here), former Republican governor Matt Blunt was repeatedly sent lists of trial lawyers and Democrats. And Professor Brian Fitzpatrick’s empirical study of the Missouri Plan nominees demonstrates that it would probably be impossible to tilt judicial nominations further to the left without actually having the Democratic party itself pick the judges.
Monday, 19 September 2011
Should Judges Be Appointed, Elected, or Chosen by a Nonpartisan Commission?
"Missouri: Trial-Lawyer Heaven" at National Review's Bench Memos blog says: