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Former prosecutor picked to fill Missouri Supreme Court vacancy


Former prosecutor picked to fill Missouri Supreme Court vacancy

Sep 12, 2023 | 2:27 pm ET
By Jason Hancock
Former prosecutor picked to fill Missouri Supreme Court vacancy
Judge Kelly Broniec speaks to reporters after Gov. Mike Parson announced she would be his pick to serve on the Missouri Supreme Court on Sept. 12, 2023 (photo courtesy of the Missouri Governor's Office).

Gov. Mike Parson on Tuesday announced Judge Kelly Broniec as his choice to fill an open seat on the Missouri Supreme Court.

Broniec, 52, currently serves as chief judge of the Missouri’s Eastern District Court of Appeals in St. Louis. She will fill the vacancy left by Judge George W. Draper III, who retired earlier this month. With Broniec’s appointment, women now make up four of the seven seats on the court. 

It’s the second time Parson has gotten to fill a Supreme Court vacancy. In 2021, he appointed Judge Robin Ransom to an open seat. Later this year he’ll get a chance to replace Judge Patricia Breckenridge, who retires in October after turning 70, the court’s mandatory retirement age.

“Appointing someone to serve on our state’s highest court and in such a central role to the functioning of our democracy is not something that I take lightly,” Parson said.

At a press conference announcing her appointment, Broniec said she understood “my responsibility as a member of the court is to decide the important cases that come before the court conscientiously, promptly and consistently with the law as written.”

Parson appointed Broniec to serve on the eastern district appeals court in 2020. Before that, she served as an associate circuit judge in Montgomery County for nearly 15 years. She was the Montgomery County prosecuting attorney from 1999 to 2006. 

With Broniec replacing Draper, the court has only two judges who were appointed by a Democratic governor  — Chief Justice Mary R. Russell and Judge Paul C. Wilson.