Missouri Plan

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  • The Missouri Plan deals with how judges are appointed at the state level. It was first adopted by Missouri in 1940. When a judicial vacancy occurs, a commission consisting of lawyers and (sometimes) politicians creates a list of qualified candidates. The commission then sends the list to the governor, who is responsible for appointing a judge to fill the court vacancy. Even if the governor does not agree with any of the choices, he or she may only appoint someone on the list. The rationale for this selection system is that it allows the most qualified person to receive the appointment without regard to political connections. It also insulates judges from popular pressure since judges face elections only for retention.

    Although Missouri chose this system in ...

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