House approves changes for picking Missouri judges

JEFFERSON CITY | The Missouri House has narrowly approved a proposed constitutional amendment changing how appellate and some city trial judges are picked.

Currently, nominating panels select three finalists for certain judicial spots with the governor appointing one for the bench.

The constitutional amendment would give the governor more options and would change the membership of the nominating panels. Those committees also would need to do some of their business in public.

The House passed the legislation 85-72. It also must be approved by the Senate to appear on the 2010 ballot.

House leaders had to take an extra roll call vote Wednesday on the proposal because staff accidentally halted the electronic voting system too soon. The legislation's supporters already had the needed 82 votes before the mistake.