Interviews of 25 candidates wanting to fill a vacancy on the Missouri Supreme Court will take place next month, officials with the high court said.
Twenty-five applicants have filed for the spot that had been held by Judge Laura Denvir Stith, who retired in March. There are 17 men and eight women in the group; four are minorities. The applicants are: Cory L. Atkins, Chad E. Blomberg, Donald E. Burrell Jr., R. Craig Carter, William M. Corrigan Jr., Katherine M. Fowler, Kenneth R. Garrett III, Jennifer R. Growcock, Matthew P. Hamner, Lisa White Hardwick, Marjorie M. Lewis, Shaun J. Mackelprang, Tracey A. Mason-White, Jeffery T. McPherson, Darrell E. Missey, Jalilah Otto, Robin Ransom, David E. Roland, Sherry A. Rozell, Jason M. Sengheiser, Cristian M. Stevens, Stanley J. Wallach, David G. Wasinger, Jonathan R. Whitehead and Raymond E. Williams.
The seven justices of the Missouri Supreme Court and the 32 judges of the Missouri Court of Appeals are selected according to the Missouri Plan, which has been in effect since 1940. When a judicial vacancy occurs, a list of potential candidates is compiled by the Missouri Appellate Judicial Commission; the list is narrowed to three choices. From those three choices, the governor appoints a new judge.
The appointed judge serves a short initial term and later runs in yes-no statewide retention elections if he or she wishes to serve full terms. Newly appointed judges stand for retention in the next general election occurring one to three years after they take office. If retained, they serve 12-year terms.
The Missouri Plan has served as a model for 34 other states that have adopted some variation of it.
The commission is expected to conduct interviews beginning at 1 p.m. May 19 and 9 a.m. May 20-21 at the Supreme Court Building in Jefferson City.
Interviews are open to the public, subject to available seating and compliance with current COVID guidelines; they will not be available online.
The commission is expected to meet at about 10:30 a.m. May 21, after interviews conclude, at the Supreme Court Building to select the three nominees from the applicant pool for the governor's consideration.