Will be updated.
Updated 4:42 with Price's full resignation letter.
Updated 4:10 p.m. statement from Gov. Nixon
Missouri Supreme Court Judge William Ray Price, Jr. is to resign, according to Supreme Court Communications Counsel Beth Riggert.
The resignation will become effective Aug. 1. Price says he will return to the private practice of law.
Price's most recent term on the state's high court began in Nov. 2006 and was set to end on Dec. 31, 2018. He served as chief justice from July 1999 through June 2001 and July 2009 through June 2011.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon issued the following statement when he learned of Price's resignation:
“For 20 years, Judge Price has served the people of Missouri as a member of the state’s highest court with honor and integrity. He has demonstrated true leadership in addressing the challenges faced by Missouri’s justice system, working to protect public safety, contain costs and ensure the fair application of the law. I wish Judge Price well in the next part of his life and career.”
Price has said that drugs are the “leading, driving force” behind crime nationwide and advocated for the state's non-partisan court plan, also known as the Missouri Plan.
As our own Marshall Griffin reported on Price's last State of the Judiciary address as chief justice, under the plan, special panels select nominees for judicial vacancies for the Supreme Court, Appeals courts, and circuit courts in Jackson, Clay, Platte, Greene and St. Louis counties, and the city of St. Louis.
The governor then selects from among the nominees.
Critics of the non-partisan court plan say attorneys have too much say in choosing nominees, and some Republican lawmakers in recent years have sponsored resolutions that would either tweak the Missouri Plan or scrap it altogether.
Price's full resignation letter is below: