Constitutional amendment passes through House
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Constitutional amendment passes through House

Date: April 8, 2009
By: Nathan Higgins
State Capitol Bureau
Links: HJR 10, the roll-call vote

Intro: Three Democratic Representatives are trying to do something that hasn't happened in more than 60 years through a state constitutional amendment.

Nathan Higgins has more from the State Capitol.

RunTime:0:46
OutCue: SOC

The constitutional amendment would change how appellate judges are chosen by adding more members to the commission and giving the governor more options.

In a close partisan vote, St. Louis Democrat Rochelle Walton Gray said she voted with the Republicans to make judicial appointments more fair.

Actuality:  GRAY.WAV
Run Time: 00:12
Description: "What we really want to do is try to get at least one African American attorney on the commission, especially the Appellate Judicial Commission because there has not been one in over 60 years."

Gray said the reform would help give representation to minorities.

In a press release, Executive Director of Better Courts for Missouri James Harris said current court members who have lobbied for the bill acted unethically.

In Jefferson City, I'm Nathan Higgins, News Radio 11-20 KMOX. 


Intro: One St. Louis Democratic Representative says she wants to see an African American appointed to a judicial selection commission.

Nathan Higgins has more from the State Capitol.

RunTime:0:45
OutCue: SOC

The commission selects judges at the appellate level and some city trial judges.

A state constitutional amendment passed by the House would change how the commission is selected by adding more people to the commission.

In the past 60 years, there has been only one African American on the commission.

St. Louis Democratic Representative Rochelle Walton Gray said she wants to see more diversity on the commission.

Actuality:  GRAY2.WAV
Run Time: 00:12
Description: "We cannot make people select a certain person, but we hope it helps a lot toward getting us some representation for the minorities in Missouri."

The amendment would give the governor more options to choose from when appointing judges.

In Jefferson City, I'm Nathan Higgins, News Radio 11-20 KMOX.


Intro: Passed by the House, a state constitutional amendment would change the selection process for some Missouri judges and give more voice to the people.

Nathan Higgins has more from the State Capitol. 

RunTime:0:42
OutCue: SOC

The amendment would give the governor more options in judicial appointments as well as add members to the selection commission.

The committee meetings would be more open with meetings in public and voters would get the final vote.

In a mostly partisan vote, Democratic Representative Curt Dougherty voted with the Republicans.

Actuality:  DOUGH.WAV
Run Time: 00:11
Description: "With our voting system, the more open and transparent we can make it to be without question or corruption or influence, it's a good thing. And, again it goes before the people for a vote. So, if they don't like it, they don't have to vote for it."

During his campaign last year, current Attorney General Chris Koster said the changes are an attempt to put politics into the selection procedure.

In Jefferson City, I'm Nathan Higgins, News Radio 11-20 KMOX.