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Missouri judicial selection ballot measure cleared for petition circulation

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March 1, 2010

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JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri: Last week Cole County Circuit Court Judge Patricia Joyce rejected a legal challenge to the proposed Missouri Judicial Selection Amendment.[1] The lawsuits, filed by several former lawmakers in 2009, argued that the filed petition did not follow the laws governing the initiative process and should be thrown out. The proposed measure calls for direct elections for the Missouri Supreme Court and the Missouri Court of Appeals like its neighbors in Illinois.[2] On February 26, 2010 Judge Joyce said the summary that would appear on petitions is fair and sufficient.[3] "This is another step forward for the movement to take our courts away from trial lawyers and special interests and put it back in the hands of Missourians. We are pleased with the ruling and feel this reaffirms our argument that their lawsuit was without merit," said James M. N. Harris, the director of Better Courts for Missouri - supporters of the proposed measure.[1]

To qualify for the ballot, the initiative requires signatures from registered voters equal to 8% of the total votes cast in the 2008 governor's election from six of the state's nine congressional districts. Petition signatures are due by May 2, 2010.

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