Politicizing the Judicial Ballot

I received this plea in my email:

Friends, As I am sure you are already aware, on the ballot on Nov. 2nd will be a section on judicial retention. In one highly politicized situation, involving our own MO Supreme Court Judge Rick Teitelman, there are conservative elements waging a campaign for voters to vote “No” on retention of Judge Teitelman.

The effort began with a Greene County prosecutor who, while admitting he wasn’t certain of the reason, laid “blame” for an unofficial moratorium on the death penalty in MO at Judge Rick’s position on the Court. This diatribe was followed in turn by an NRA-affiliated group urging non-retention of Judge Rick based on his vote against the legitimacy of the conceal & carry legislation. I urge you all not to skip over the judges retention portion of the ballot so that you can cast a “yes” to retention of Judge Richard B. Teitelman.

And, as less politically astute friends, family, and acquaintances ask you about the Nov. 2nd ballot, please explain the meaning of the retention vote to them. I am writing because judges cannot wage a campaign. And, Judge Rick has a deep commitment to civil liberties, civil rights, and justice. But another aspect we must remember, a significant vote for non-retention of Judge Rick could have a chilling effect on other judges who would otherwise be inclined to cast politically unpopular votes in close cases. Thank you for your attention and consideration.

Post Dispatch on Teitelman.

As the Post mentions — the main claim of those working to unseat him is that he voted against conceal-carry. He didn’t. He voted that the state should have to fund conceal-carry.

Since many people skip over that section in the ballot — a negative campaign can work. So its important if you are against politicizing the judiciary that you vote to support Teitelman.

Judges should be retained or booted based on ability — not a liberal/conservative litmus test.

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