Get to know your Missouri judges before election day

Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 1:32 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - There’s a new site where you can get to know your Missouri judges, especially those who are up for retention.

CLICK HERE to find detailed information on the legal ability, fairness, communication, and behavior of judges who are up for retention in Missouri’s general election on November 8.

Laurence Tucker, Chairman of the Missouri Judicial Performance Review Committee, said this site helps voters.

“Vital that people who keep them in office or don’t keep them in office, the voters of Missouri, have as much information as they can that is not coming from a partisan perspective,” said Tucker.

Tucker said the committee analyzes all judges for retention in Greene County and across Missouri. One of those is Judge Jack Goodman, on the Missouri Court of Appeals Southern District. Judge Goodman said the site helps inform voters.

“Very few people have direct contact with an appellate judge, and a lot of people never encountered some of the trial judges that are on the ballot for retention personally,” said Judge Goodman. “So it is good to have some source of information for the voters to look at.”

Judge Goodman was appointed to the Missouri Court of Appeals-Southern District in 2020, and he believes this site is good for voters to get a sense of who they are.

“I’d certainly like awareness of the of the site to be widespread,” said Judge Goodman.

Tucker said they consider attorneys’ and jurors’ input, then the committee brings it all together and dives into a judge’s work and opinions.

“We remove all of the identifying information and only look at the raw data that comes from the surveys so that we can determine if judges have actually met the standards we’ve set,” said Tucker.

Tucker said the site covers six counties, the Missouri Supreme Court and the Missouri Court of Appeals. Tucker and Judge Goodman noted this system is crucial in preparing to vote.

“Important because we think voters are the most important part of this whole system, and in making sure that we have good judges,” said Tucker.

“It is good to have this one centralized source of information from people who’ve had experience with these judges,” said Judge Goodman.

CLICK HERE to check sample ballots from counties in the Ozarks.

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