Missouri Supreme Court Judge Laura Denvir Stith plans to retire effective March 8. She was appointed to the high court in 2001 and served as chief justice from 2007 to 2009.
A press release today from the State Supreme Court says Stith is the second woman ever to serve on the court.
“I hope that in some small way my service over the last 20 years has continued to be a model for women lawyers and other minorities throughout Missouri that the court system of Missouri is open to all those who wish to serve, whatever their gender, race, ethnicity or type of legal practice,” Stith says.
Chief Justice George W. Draper III first announced Stith’s retirement during his 2021 State of the Judiciary address today.
“Judge Laura Denvir Stith[’s] … resume and body of work speak for themselves … she will leave a lasting legacy in the areas of ethics, gender and justice. She is a dedicated jurist. Her experience, intelligence, diligence, and wisdom will be missed. Please join me in wishing her all the best in her retirement,” says Draper.
Stith plans to do pro bono work and volunteer work after she retires. According to the press release, Stith has also told Supreme Court Chief Justice Draper she is ready and willing to continue to serve the courts as a senior judge in whatever capacity would be most useful.
Born and raised in the St. Louis suburb of Clayton, Stith graduated magna cum laude from John Burroughs School and magna cum laude from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.
According to Beth Riggert, Communications Counsel with the Supreme Court, the seven-member Appellate Judicial Commission will open Stith’s vacancy in the future. The public can nominate individuals to be considered. Traditionally, the commission interviews all applicants. A panel of three nominees are recommended to the governor. The governor then has 60 days to appoint a nominee to the court.
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