Keeping politics out of government. A good idea, no?
Well, it’s one thing to prohibit government workers from using taxpayer-paid government worktime to engage in elections and campaigning. That works.
But more elaborate schemes, like the Missouri Plan, have perverse effects on both politics and government.
The Missouri Plan is the method that a number of states use to select judges. Instead of directly electing judges by the people — as done in many western states — this scheme gives much of the work and the power to a small committee. The committee is run by the state’s ruling judge, and is made up of bar members and appointees by the governor.
In Missouri, it has usually worked in secret and has put in office some rather left-leaning judges.
It’s not that politics has been taken out of the process. It’s that the people’s political preferences have. They’ve been substituted by the prejudices of legal professionals.
Wow, what an achievement. Messy democratic politics replaced with back-room establishment maneuvering.
The issue got hot last summer, when Governor Matt Blunt faced a liberal slate of nominees pre-selected by the committee. Now, one of Missouri’s Supreme Court members has been promoted by the president, leaving a vacancy.
Meanwhile, a group funded by George Soros, “Justice At Stake,” is defending the corrupt, in-crowd system. Even anti-politics makes for strange bedfellows.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.