JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Appellate Judicial Commission is accepting applications for judge of the Supreme Court of Missouri to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Laura Denvir Stith after 27 years of judicial service, including two decades on the state’s highest court.

A St. Louis-area native, Stith worked as a law clerk for Supreme Court of Missouri Judge Robert E. Seiler before spending 15 years in the private practice of law in Kansas City. She was appointed in 1994 to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, where she served until March 2001, when she became only the second female judge of the state’s high court. Stith also was only the second woman to be Missouri’s chief justice, serving from July 2007 through June 2009. Stith’s retirement will become effective after the close of business today.

Citizens are encouraged to nominate well-qualified candidates for the commission’s consideration. The Missouri Constitution requires that a judge of the Supreme Court of Missouri be at least 30 years old, licensed to practice law in Missouri, a United States citizen for at least 15 years and a qualified Missouri voter for at least nine years next preceding selection. Nominations should be submitted to the commission by e-mail at, or by postal mail at P.O. Box 150, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

The nomination form is available online here.

Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. Friday, April 9, 2021.

Interested persons may download the application and instructions online here.

The commission has reserved Wednesday through Friday, May 19 through 21, 2021, at the Supreme Court of Missouri, at 207 High Street in Jefferson City, to interview applicants and select a panel of three nominees for the governor’s consideration. The commission reserves the right to conduct interviews using remote technology if necessary due to COVID 19 health concerns and recommendations. Regardless of their format, the interviews will be open to the public. The names of those to be interviewed and information relating to the number and characteristics of all applicants will be released publicly prior to the interviews.

For more information please contact Beth S. Riggert, Communications Counsel at the Supreme Court of Missouri at (573) 751-3676.