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Missourians got their first look at the finalists for the opening on the Court of Appeals, Southern District. KSMU’s Adam Murphy takes a look at the selection process for the new Appellate Judge.
The next step will be interviews of all 23 applicants whose demographic information was released to the public. Those interviewing the applicants will be members the Appellate Judicial Commission which is made up of 3 citizens and 3 lawyers, all chosen from the three different appellate districts, and the Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court.
Beth Riggert is the Communications Counsel for the Supreme Court of Missouri. She says the commission is seeking an applicant who is highly qualified, brings a lot of experience, and can articulate his or her reasoning well in writing because the Court of Appeals rules by written decision. Appellate court judges also make their rulings as a group of 3 to 7, so this too may factor into the commissions decision.
“They may look at what particular characteristics will the new person will bring to the job to supplement the experience of the folks who are already serving on the bench,” said Riggert.
On February 19, the commission will select three nominees to submit to the governor. Riggert says the 60-day period the governor has to select the new judge, is when the public can offer their opinions on the nominees.
“Once these three individuals are nominated on February 19 and their applications are made public, the members of the public will have an opportunity to weigh in at the governor’s office to let them what they think pro and con about the various nominees,” she said.
The final step of the new appellate judge’s appointment is a retention election in November, 2012. A group of lawyers and members of the general public will evaluate the judge and release their recommendations to inform voters when deciding whether or not to keep the new judge in office.
For KSMU News, I’m Adam Murphy.