Apparently not content to let Jeff Roe and the other concoction of right wing political operatives who are behind ongoing attempts to bring back Pendergast Era politics to the process of selecting Missouri's appellate judges, Governor Blunt has decided to begin his own campaign to undermine Missouri's Non-Partisan Court Plan. Through his chief counsel, Henry Herschel, the Governor has requested that the members of the Judicial Commission that sent him three eminently qualified candidates for the Supreme Court violate Supreme Court rules by providing him:
- Any transcripts and/or audio recordings and notes from every interview with every applicant
- Information on meeting and interview times, locations and length
- Details of notice provided regarding all commission meetings and interviews
- Insight into the questions presented to the applicants including whether they were standardized and what questions were included or given priority
Amazingly, the Governor's office requests he be provided information from the Commission members for not only the three nominees, but for ALL 30 of the applicants interviewed for the position; action that, if taken, would be in direct violation of Supreme Court Rule 10.28 which provides that such matters are to be kept confidential -- for obvious reasons. The non-partisan court plan creates a check on the Governor's ability (or anyone else's) to try to unduly influence the work of the Commission or politicize its efforts.
Not satisfied to let the Commission do its job, and to then do his, the Governor has painted his request that the Commission members violate Rule 10.28 as simply a call for assistance and for more "transparency" in the process. Sorry, but the request for notes and other "insight" on the interviews of all the applicants clearly reveals the Governor's true purpose -- to second guess why the Commission didn't send him three candidates who might be more in line with his political views, and to later call for the abolishment of the Missouri Non-Partisan Court Plan. What the Governor needs to remember is that it's not the Commission's JOB to send him three candidates it thinks he'll be ideologically in line with -- it's the Commission's job to send him the three people it believes will be the most exceptional judges.
Call Governor Blunt, and tell him to stop meddling in the Commission's work by asking its members to break the law. It did its job and sent him three well-regarded and qualified candidates for our Supreme Court. Now it's time for him to do his -- stop whining and pick one of them.