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State Supreme Court Candidates Interviewed

September 2, 2004
By: Bente Birkeland
State Capital Bureau

A nominating committee held interviews Thursday to pick a state supreme court candidate. The committee will give the lame duck governor the power to change the partisan makeup of Missouri's highest court. Bente Birkeland reports from Jefferson City.

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Governor Holden will replace conservative supreme court justice, Duane Benton, who's moving to the federal appeals court.

Kirkwood Republican Richard Byrd chairs the House Judiciary Committee. He says Holden will probably appoint a democrat, making the division in the court 5 Democrats to 2 Republicans. The court's power makes the partisan divide important.

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Contents: The supreme court has an opportunity to both interpret common law as well as interpret the constitution and their decision is the final authority in this state. Therefore, an appointment to the supreme court is a very critical decision.

Byrd says he expects Holden to make his choice by the end of the month.

From the state Capital I'm Bente Birkeland.