JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - The commission tasked with helping to fill judicial vacancies on the Missouri Supreme Court said this week it is seeking applicants for a seat soon to be open on the state's high court.
The vacancy is a result of Judge William Ray Price Jr.'s impending resignation.
Price, currently the longest-serving judge, is retiring Aug. 1 after serving more than 20 years on the Court, including two two-year terms as its chief justice.
He also has served more than 11 years as chairman of the state's Drug Court Commission, one two-year term as chairman of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals and a one-year term as vice president of the national Conference of Chief Justices.
On Wednesday, the state's Appellate Judicial Commission announced it is accepting applications to fill the vacancy.
Under the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan, the Appellate Judicial Commission helps fill judicial vacancies on the Supreme Court and the three districts of the Missouri Court of Appeals.
The commission accepts applications from lawyers interested in serving on the courts and interviews the applicants. It then submits the names of three qualified candidates -- called its "panel" of candidates -- to the governor.
If the governor does not appoint one of the three panelists within 60 days of submission, the commission selects one of the three panelists to fill the vacancy.
The seven-member commission is chaired by the Supreme Court's chief justice, currently Rick Teitelman.
The other members include three lawyers elected by the Missouri Bar and three citizens selected by the governor.
The commission said citizens are encouraged to nominate "well-qualified candidates" for its consideration.
Under the Missouri Constitution, a judge of the Supreme Court must be at least 30 years old, licensed to practice law in the state, a United States citizen for at least 15 years, and a qualified state voter for at least nine years next preceding selection.
Nominations can be submitted to the commission by email at JudgeVacancy@courts.mo.gov or by mail to Supreme Court Judge Vacancy, P.O. Box 150, Jefferson City, MO 65102.
Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. July 13.
The commission said it will meet Oct. 10 and 11 to interview applicants and to select its panel of three nominees. The interviews will be open to the public.
The names of those being interviewed will be released ahead of time, the commission said.
From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at email@example.com.