Gov. Blunt picks newest Mo. justice

John O'Brien Oct. 17, 2008, 3:32pm


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Zel Fischer will replace Steven Limbaugh on the Missouri Supreme Court, having been appointed by Gov. Matt Blunt Wednesday.

Limbaugh left to become a federal judge, while Fischer previously served as an associate circuit judge in Atchison County.

"As governor, I have many important responsibilities, but very few are as important as nominations to the Missouri Supreme Court," Blunt said in a statement.

Fischer, 45, was selected by a group of three candidates recommended to Blunt by the Appellate Judicial Commission. The other two were Lisa Hardwick and Ronald Hilliger, both of the state Court of Appeals' Western District,

Fischer's application can be viewed here. He graduated from the University of Missouri School of Law at Kansas City in 1988.

Fischer also clerked for former justice Andrew Jackson Higgins, then spent 17 years in private practice before being elected circuit judge.

"Judge Fischer will have big shoes to fill as he replaces Judge Stephen Limbaugh who believes as I believe that the role of a judge is not to inject personal opinion into legal controversies, but to apply our Constitution and laws as they are written," Blunt said.

"I believe Judge Fischer shares this philosophy and he was certainly the closest to this philosophy of any candidate on the panel."

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at

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