The picture above, click to enlarge, has a justice symbol on the letterhead. The letter dates back to the year 1799
Governor Matt Blunt has accused the press of being biased, the judicial selection system as flawed and shrouded in secrecy. The term "activist judges" has been a political rhetorical buzz-word for the Republican Party this year.
The "Missouri Plan" is supposed to take partisan politics out of the judicial selection process. For background purposes, both the press (scribes) and judges were reserved for priests ala Levites in the Judeo-Christian tradition. We expect these classes of people to be fair, balanced and bound to truth, fairness and justice.
As the federal judicial climate is proving - partisan politics divert the cause of justice.
Political attacks on the press have elevated this year resulting in a backlash from state editorial boards. During Lincoln Days the Governor's office specifically excluded Taney County publications from their battle cry.
Enter the sunshine law.
Matt Blunt has criticized the judicial selection process stating "secret" meetings were conducted to choose candidates for the Missouri Supreme Court. Blunt has issued three press releases over the last month asking for documents relating to the judicial selection process. The first letter asked for specific details of the process. On July 31st Blunt accused the Appellate commission of omitting important documents. A couple days later Blunt asked that Missouri Supreme Court candidates fill out an extensive questionnaire.
Yesterday, the media battle was a two way street. The Appellate Judicial Commission sent direct correspondence to the public while Blunt's office demanded school transcripts from candidates.
Enter the Missouri House of Representatives and Sunshine Reform
Representative Jim Lembke (District 85)accused the judiciary of violating the Sunshine Law and promised to extend and clarify the responsibility of governmental bodies to perform their duties more openly through legislation.
Criticize them, scold them, kick them; but, if you promise a more open government you can win the hearts of the press - whether they want to like you or not.