Judicial retention. Say it enough and it starts to sound like a nasty blockage, the sort of malady that might lead to swelling and stones.
But there is little funny -- and a lot to ponder -- with the current fight over Missouri’s nonpartisan court plan.
In a nutshell, the plan takes pains to bleach politics out of the way appeals-court judges are appointed in Missouri. When an appellate-court seat goes empty, a seven-member commission appointed by the state bar and the governor sends three nominees to the governor. He chooses. Judge run to retain their seats, and do so as nonpartisan candidates.
Some activists want to ditch the Missouri plan; not surprisingly, their plans would fill the judicial-selection process with juicy political goodness. They also want to make this a constitutional amendment and put it before voters in November 2008 (no doubt after an air-wars campaign based on simplistic idea reduction).
The Columbia Missourian has the good read on an issue too serious to reduce to a few sound bites. Worth your time, especially now that three lawyers -- two of them locals -- have been nominated for a spot on the Southern District Court of Appeals. Did the selection commission choose wisely?