Parties involved in an appeal over the language of a state amendment for judge appointments wait as the deadline to prepare general election ballots approaches. The western division of the Missouri Court of Appeals heard arguments Thursday regarding an initial ruling by a Cole County judge that does not change the original ballot summary penned by Secretary of State Robin Carnahan. The summary will ask voters on Nov. 6 if they want to give more latitude to the governor in appointing members of the commission that nominates judges for the Missouri Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. Eight Missouri residents filed a lawsuit challenging the language.
James Harris, leader of Better Courts for Missouri and one of the plaintiffs, said the measure is designed to reduce trial attorney special interests’ control of judicial selection and that the wording is biased. Eddie Greim, the Kansas City attorney representing the plaintiffs, told Missouri Watchdog Monday that he expects a decision early this week. “We feel that we’re correct, and we’re hopeful,” he said. Federal law requires general election ballots to be prepared for military voters by Saturday, while under state law absentee ballots must be ready Sept. 25.