JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri Supreme Court Judge Zel Fischer is the state's next chief justice.
Fischer's term begins Saturday and ends in 2019. In Missouri, Supreme Court judges take turns serving as the chief justice. The chief justice acts as the administrative leader of the state's judicial system.
Former Republican Gov. Matt Blunt appointed Fischer to the high court in 2008. Voters in 2010 chose to keep him on the court for a 12-year term that expires in 2022. Before that he was elected as an associate circuit judge in Atchison County in 2006.
He started his career as a clerk for former Missouri Supreme Court Judge Andrew Jackson Higgins. He then worked as a private attorney.
He is a 54-year-old Republican.
Fischer will succeed Judge Patricia Breckenridge. She's still on the court.