The next Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court wants to push for a less-political judicial system in more parts of Missouri. Judge Ronnie White says it’s not a big deal that Ronnie White is the Chief Justice, but it means a person of color can become the Chief Justice and that everyone in Missouri has that opportunity. White spoke about the milestone and his agenda for the next year with reporters who gathered at the State Supreme Court Building in Jefferson City. White, St. Loius native, 8-year veteran of the State Supreme Court, has three priorities–more people of color in the judicial system as employees and judges; more court automation, and an expansion of the non-partisan court plan beyond St. Louis City and County, Jackson and Platte Counties. Under the non-partisan court plan, judges are picked by a special panel that examines experience and other qualifications. The judge faces voters for retention, but does not have to campaign against a political opponent. Other counties might want to make the move and that would be fine with White, too. He has singled out Jefferson, Greene, and St. Charles Counties because some circuit and associate circuit judges are having to raise $100,000 or more to get re-elected and most of the money comes from lawyers who will appear before them. He thinks it’s best to move judges in those counties a few more steps away from politics. White takes over on July first.
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