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Parson selects Ginger Gooch for Supreme Court, making Missouri’s highest court majority female

 Ginger Gooch was appointed to the Missouri Supreme Court on Monday, Oct. 30, 2023.
Courtesy of Gov. Mike Parson's office
Ginger Gooch was appointed to the Missouri Supreme Court on Monday, Oct. 30, 2023.

Gooch was a judge on the Southern District Court of Appeals before being selected to the Supreme Court.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Monday selected appellate Judge Ginger Gooch of Springfield to fill a vacancy on the state Supreme Court.

Gooch’s appointment means the Missouri Supreme Court will have a female majority for the first time.

“In this new role, I will work hard — and I will endeavor to be a credit to the state's judicial branch,” Gooch said during a press conference in Jefferson City announcing her appointment.

Gooch said it was noteworthy that she became the person to establish the female majority for the Missouri Supreme Court. She added it was especially notable since she was a law clerk for then-Supreme Court Judge Ann Covington — the first woman to serve on the state’s high court.

“I can't say that I've ever envisioned myself being in this place. But it's a wonderful opportunity,” Gooch said. “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. And 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.”

Gooch, 47, will succeed Patricia Breckenridge, who stepped down from the court earlier this year after she reached the constitutionally mandated age limit of 70. Gooch was one of three finalists submitted to Parson last week.

Parson appointed her last year to the Southern District Court of Appeals after a number of years in private practice. She worked for the law firm Husch Blackwell before making the transition to the judicial branch.

“One thing that has become clear to me is Judge Gooch’s passion for service,” Parson said. “She graduated at the top of her class and had a very impressive career in the private sector. Emerging as something of a civil and business litigation expert, she wanted to do more and give back to her community, state and fellow citizens.”

This is Parson’s third appointment to the Supreme Court.

Earlier this year, Parson selected Kelly Broniec to fill a vacancy. And in 2021, he appointed Robin Ransom — the first Black woman to ever serve on the court.

Copyright 2023 St. Louis Public Radio. To see more, visit St. Louis Public Radio.

Jason Rosenbaum