Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Even Republicans Want a Neutral Judiciary


Given the level of attacks on the Missouri judiciary by Gov. Matt Blunt (R), it is hard to believe that even sane Republicans want a neutral, fair judicial system. It's true, not all Republicans are nuts.


Dan Margolies from the KC Star wrote an article about how 3 former chief judges from the Missouri Supreme Court - all appointed by then Gov. John Ashcroft - have come out to defend the Missouri Non-Partisan Court Plan. Judge John Holstein - who ran for trial judge in S.W. Missouri as a Republican - is one of those guys and he now works at one of our biggest firms in the state. He was a smart, intelligent and fair judge, literally a poster child for why we want the Missouri Plan. Ashcroft picked a Judge Holstein to sit on the Supreme Court, not a partisan hack with the most money. Ashcroft never complained about the Missouri Non-Partisan Court Plan.


Another one of the former chief judges is Judge Ann Covington. Again, not a party hack. She was intelligent and worked hard. She, too, has gone on to one of our biggest firms in the state. Now, would plenty of Democrats disagree with Holstein and Covington's votes - you bet. Does that make Holstein and Covington activist judges - nope. It means that our judicial branch is designed to protect individual rights, not to enforce majority rule. It means that we have come up with the best plan in America to select judges, which is why 38 states have adopted parts of our plan. Even Blunt's hometown newspaper, the Springfield Newsleader, says our system is fair. Blunt is in deep political doo-doo, he needs an issue to save him and get his base out to the polls in November of 2008.


We should all join http://www.protectjustice.org/ in the battle to defend our courts. Go sign up as a supporter. Knowledge is key on this issue and getting our friends, neighbors and family in the loop is the only way to combat this issue. Mark my words, Jeff Roe and his Karl Rove game playing will have this on the ballot in November of 2008 to get his base happy. If you listen to Rush, you hate judges. They have the AM airways, we have the blogs. Let's win this fight!

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

OK, Steve, you forgot to reveal the firms - Holstein is at Shughart Thompson & Kilroy - when are they going to step up a fair way to pick judges? Shughart just hired 2 retiring judges from the courts of appeals.

Covington is at Bryan Cave - when are they going to step up to defend justice?

How about Lathrop & Gage lawyers who have subsidized Jeff Roe and the while Amy Blunt does lobbying work for the firm in Jefferson City?

The question for these lawyers clients has to be "is my lawyer providing the best advocacy possible when he/she does not publicly defend the judicial system from Matt Blunt?"

Mr. Kilroy at Shughart Thompson & Kilroy? Mr. Thompson at Bryan Cave? Lathrop? You gonna defend a fair system or let your party destroy the Missouri Plan?

Anonymous said...

As long as we are calling people out, how about the two missing voices in this debate on the Missouri Plan - Rep. Bryan Pratt and Rep. Brian Yates. Both are Republicans, both are lawyers who are employed by Shook Hardy & Bacon.

Judge Laura Denvir Stith is a former Shook Hardy & Bacon lawyer who has been taking a butt chewing from Blunt. Rich McLeod, the secretary of the appeals commission, is a former Shook Hardy & Bacon lawyer (how rode the 500 votes of Shook lawyers to be elected to his spot on the commission). Pat McLarney, former SHB managing partner, has spent the last two years in Jefferson City attempting to beat off partisan attacks on the judicial branch.

Where the heck are Pratt & Yates on the defense of the Missouri Plan? Do the evil tobacco companies (who are the bread and butter for Shook) who have lots of cases pending in Jackson County think that judges who are bought and purchased by special interests are a good thing?

Anonymous said...

What the heck is Lathrop doing? One of thier old partners, Ray Price, is on the Supreme Court. He has got to be the most intelligent, thoughtful members up there. When was the last time that Lathrop and its book of big business cared about a fair judicial system? They booted Jeff Roe. Apparently Lathrop's clients want Amy Blunt to lobby in Jefferson City for them, but don't really care about contracts that may need to go in front of judges.

Anonymous said...

If "even Republicans want a neutral judiciary" then where are thier voices? How come they can not be heard?

Anonymous said...

How about Matt Bartle - where does he fall on this issue? He rents space from Tim Dollar, a big time attorney. Dollar also works for the Jackson County Prosecutor's office.

Jeff Roe starts the Adam Smith Foundation. Matt Bartle hires and represents Jeff Roe. Jeff Roe and the Adam Smith Foundation attacks judges. Matt Bartle does XXX to judges?

Where does Sen. Matt Bartle stand on the Missouri Court Plan?

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