One of the few people to be Missouri’s Chief Justice more than once wraps up his second term, reflecting on how political pressures and money shortages could be affecting the course of justice.
Judge William Ray Price Junior was a partner in a Kansas City law firm when Governor Ashcroft appointed him to the court in 1992. He’s a little more than ten years away from mandatory retirement, so he stays on the court after the end of his term as chief justice..
Price says one of he biggest challenges is maintaining the sense of individual justice that citizens expect from their courts at a time when budget cuts are endangering the court system’s ability to process citizens’ lawsuits. He says the court has always felt political pressure, too. But he says it has intensified..
Price knows he could have made a lot more money in the last two decades if he had stayed in private practice but he says the best part of being a judge is trying to find the right answer for the people of Missouri rather than working for somebody who was paying them to advocate for their answer.
He says it might be wrong to say the job is still fun. But he says it’s satisfying to do some good in a broader sense.