Gov. Parson picks eastern appeals court judge for Missouri Supreme Court seat

Appointment shifts court’s majority female, a first in state history
Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 3:42 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced Judge Kelly Broniec as his pick to fill a vacancy on the state’s highest court.

Broniec, 52, Has been serving on the Eastern District Court of Appeals in the St. Louis Area since 2020. Before that, she was Montgomery County’s elected prosecuting attorney and then a circuit court judge.

“I understand that my responsibility as a member of the court is to decide the important cases that come before the court conscientiously, promptly and consistently with the law as written,” Broniec said.

Broniec will replace outgoing Judge George Draper III.

“Appointing someone to serve on our State’s highest Court and in such a central role to the functioning of our democracy is not something that I take lightly,” Governor Parson said. “Not only is Judge Broniec an exceptional jurist, but she’s an even better person. She is a proud woman of faith who comes from humble beginnings and worked hard to pave her own way. We are confident that her appointment will help reshape and strengthen the Missouri Supreme Court and our judicial system as a whole.”

Broniec said one of her priorities will be to avoid judicial legislating.

“I will not be attempting to make laws, I will interpret them and apply them to the facts in each case and determining if there were prejudicial legal errors made in the cases that come before us,” Broniec said.

Tuesday’s appointment is poised to make Missouri’s Supreme Court occupied by a majority of women for the first time in state history.

That could change later this year, though, as Judge Patricia Breckenridge is due for mandatory retirement in October.

Governor Parson will have at least one more Supreme Court seat to fill during his term. By law, Judge Broniec’s swearing-in must happen within 30 days of the appointment, but no date has been announced as of this article’s publication.