|Supreme Court of Missouri|
|Location||Jefferson City, Missouri|
|Composition method||Gubernatorial appointment with retention election|
|Authorized by||Missouri Constitution|
|Appeals to||Supreme Court of the United States|
|Judge term length||12 years|
|Number of positions||7|
|Currently||Mary Rhodes Russell|
|Since||July 1, 2023|
|Lead position ends||June 30, 2025|
The Supreme Court of Missouri is the highest court in the state of Missouri. It was established in 1820 and is located at 207 West High Street in Jefferson City, Missouri. Missouri voters have approved changes in the state's constitution to give the Supreme Court exclusive jurisdiction – the sole legal power to hear – over five types of cases on appeal. Pursuant to Article V, Section 3 of the Missouri Constitution, these cases involve:
Unless their case involves one of those five issues, people who want a trial court's decision reviewed must appeal to the Missouri Court of Appeals. Most of these cases involve routine legal questions and end there. The Court of Appeals is divided geographically into the Eastern District, Western District and Southern District.
Certain cases, however, can be transferred to the Supreme Court – at the Court's discretion – if it determines that a question of general interest or importance is involved, that the laws should be re-examined, or that the lower court's decision conflicts with an earlier appellate decision. This is similar to the process the United States Supreme Court uses in accepting cases. In addition, the Court of Appeals may transfer a case to the Supreme Court after an opinion is issued, either upon application of one of the parties or at the request of one of the judges on the appellate panel.
In addition to issuing legal decisions, the Supreme Court supervises the lower state courts with the assistance of the Office of State Courts Administrator ("OSCA"). OSCA oversees court programs, provides technical assistance, manages the budget of the state's judicial branch, and conducts educational programs. The Supreme Court also issues practice and procedure rules for Missouri court cases, including procedure and evidence rules. The Supreme Court licenses attorneys practicing in Missouri, and disciplines lawyers and judges for violating ethical rules.
Judges of the court are selected through the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan, nationally known as the Missouri Plan.
Under the plan, the Appellate Judicial Commission submits the names of three nominees to the governor. If the governor fails to make an appointment with 60 days of the nominees being named, the Commission shall make the appointment. Judges serving for at least a year are placed on the general election ballot for a retention vote of the people. If retained, judges serve a term of 12 years.
At the time of its establishment, the court had three judges, which was expanded to five in 1872, and seven in 1890.
The following is a list of notable cases decided by the Supreme Court of Missouri or which came to the Supreme Court of the United States from the Supreme Court of Missouri. Since 1973, the Supreme Court of Missouri has heard all cases en banc (before all seven judges). Before that many cases were heard by panels of three judges. Cases heard en banc are cited as "Mo. banc"; older cases heard by a panel are cited as "Mo."
Robin Ransom is the latest appointee to the Court, having been appointed by Missouri Governor Mike Parson in May 2021. The judges rotate the two-year term of Chief Justice among themselves. The Chief Justice is Constitutionally empowered to preside over the court and to be the "chief administrative officer" of the state judicial system. The current Chief Justice is Mary Rhodes Russell, whose term began July 1, 2023 and will serve until June 30, 2025.
As of August 4, 2023[update], the makeup of the court is:
|Justice||Born||Joined||Chief Justice||Term ends[a]||Mandatory retirement||Appointed by||Law school|
|Mary Rhodes Russell, Chief Justice||July 28, 1958||September 2004||2013–2015, 2023–present||2030||July 28, 2028||Bob Holden (D)||Missouri|
|W. Brent Powell||July 21, 1970||April 25, 2017||–||2030||July 21, 2040||Eric Greitens (R)||Missouri|
|Patricia Breckenridge||October 14, 1953||September 2007||2015–2017||2032||October 14, 2023||Matt Blunt (R)||Missouri|
|Zel Fischer||April 28, 1963||October 15, 2008||2017–2019||2034||April 28, 2033||Matt Blunt (R)||Missouri–Kansas City|
|Robin Ransom||July 21, 1967||May 24, 2021||–||2034||July 21, 2037||Mike Parson (R)||Missouri|
|Paul C. Wilson||May 23, 1961||December 3, 2012||2021–2023||2026||May 23, 2033||Jay Nixon (D)||Missouri|
|Seat||Seat last held by||Vacancy reason||Date of vacancy||Nominee||Date of nomination|
|–||George W. Draper III||Retirement||August 4, 2023||–||–|
|–||Patricia Breckenridge||October 14, 2023||–||–|
The Clerk of the Supreme Court of Missouri is responsible for a wide range of duties, including the supervision of the internal administrative function of the Court itself as well as the planning and administrative direction of the Missouri Judicial Conference, the organization of all the state's judges. As of January 1, 2017, the clerk is Betsy AuBuchon, the first woman to serve in that position.