One Missouri Supreme Court justice faces retention election in November

Missouri Supreme Court Justice Patricia Breckenridge will face a retention election on November 3, 2020. She is the only member of the court facing a retention election this year. She was originally appointed by a Republican governor in 2007 and won a retention election in 2008.

Currently, two justices on the court were appointed by a Republican governor while five were appointed by a Democratic governor.

The governor appoints the seven justices of the supreme court through a hybrid nominating commission where neither the governor nor the Missouri State Bar Association has majority control over the judicial nominating commission. The governor selects three non-lawyer members, while the state bar selects three lawyer members. The Missouri Appellate Judicial Commission is chaired by the chief justice of the Missouri Supreme Court.

When a vacancy occurs, the Missouri Appellate Judicial Commission compiles a list of candidates and narrows that list to three choices. The governor must appoint a new judge from that list of three choices. After new justices have been appointed, the must face retention elections in the next general election occurring one to three years after they take office. They serve twelve-year terms if they are retained.

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