(Jefferson City, MO) –- The next Missouri Supreme Court judge is from southwest Missouri.

Gov. Mike Parson has appointed Ginger Gooch to serve on the high court. She’s been a Missouri Court of Appeals judge in Springfield.

“It is true that Judge Gooch will be the first judge from southwest Missouri on the Supreme Court in several decades,” said Parson. “This is not the reason I chose her. I’ll admit, being from southwest Missouri, I’m glad to see some representation from our part of the state on the bench. We chose her because she is the most qualified candidate – end of story.”

Gooch was appointed to serve on the Southern District Court of Appeals by Gov. Parson in 2022. Before serving on the appellate bench, she served as a partner with Husch Blackwell LLP in Springfield for nearly 15 years. After graduating at the top of her law class, Judge Gooch served as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Ann Covington, the first female judge to serve on the Supreme Court of Missouri, from 2000-2001.

“Obviously, it’s huge commitment and lifestyle change and enormous responsibility. But I think it boils down to wanting somebody to do the job the way that I know it should be done,” she said. “And I hope that doesn’t sound arrogant, because I don’t mean it that way at all. But I just, you know, it’s very important to me that the Supreme Court continues to be an amazing institution like I experienced when I clerked there.”

Missouri’s Supreme Court is made up of a majority of women serving on the court – Judges Kelly Broniec, Robin Ransom, Mary Russell and now Ginger Gooch. Gooch, 47, will replace Judge Patricia Breckenridge, who recently announced retirement plans.

“It’s just hard to imagine that when I started my career, I worked for the first female and at that time, the only female. More recently, I had the chance to serve on the majority female, Southern District Court of Appeals. And now this, so I can’t say that I’ve ever envisioned myself being in this place. But it’s a wonderful opportunity and it just also makes me filled with gratitude for all of the outstanding lawyers and judges that I’ve worked with in my career, both men and women. I know that I’m only here because of all the time that they’ve spent teaching me and trying to make me a better lawyer and judge when they had nothing to gain from doing so,” she said.

Gooch was one of three nominees who were submitted to Parson by the Appellate Judicial Commission for consideration. Her swearing-in date has not yet been set; however, Missouri law requires her to be sworn in within 30 days of her appointment.

Copyright © 2023