Richard Teitelman

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon remembers Judge Teitelman on Dec. 1, 2016.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Speaking with reporters in St. Louis on Thursday, Gov. Jay Nixon said he’s “ready to appoint if the chief justice wants to call a commission together.” That’s a reference to how Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Patricia Breckenridge would have to start the process to replace Richard Teitelman, a Missouri Supreme Court judge who died last month. “I’d be certainly be willing to do that and I think there’s a lot of good candidates for it,” Nixon said. “I have never in my eight years called a commissioner and asked them to put somebody on a panel. And in this situation, that’s up to the courts. I do think with an opening, you could get it done if there’s enough time to. But that’s their choice, not mine.”

Hundreds gathered at Graham Chapel at Washington University to honor and remember Court judge Richard Teitelman on Dec. 1, 2016.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Hundreds packed Graham Chapel at Washington University Thursday to remember Missouri Supreme Court judge Richard Teitelman. Teitelman died overnight Monday at his home in St. Louis at the age of 69. A native of Philadelphia, he moved to St. Louis to attend Washington University Law School and never left the state. After two years in private practice, he joined Legal Services of Eastern Missouri in 1975 and became its executive director in 1980. Democratic Gov. Mel Carnahan appointed him to the state Court of Appeals in 1998. Another Democrat, Bob Holden, elevated Judge Teitelman to the state high court in 2002.

Missouri Supreme Court Judge Richard B. Teitelman pictured in this June 1, 2016 file photo, has died at the age of 69. Teitelman was the first legally blind and Jewish judge to serve on Missouri’s highest court.
File photo | Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Updated at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday with audio of obituary. A leading liberal voice in the Missouri legal community has died. Judge Richard Teitelman was 69. The Missouri Supreme Court confirmed his death, saying Tuesday that he had died in the morning at his home in St. Louis. Teitelman had been experiencing health problems for some time, including complications from diabetes.

Mo. Supreme Court

Judge Mary Russell is set to become Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court next week. The Hannibal native has sat on the state's highest court since 2004, and previously served on the Appeals court for Missouri's Eastern District. Russell lists the expansion of specialty courts as one of her top priorities for her two-year term. " We've got great drug courts, Missouri has more drug courts per capita than any state in the nation," Russell told reporters today. "We have veterans courts ...

Tim Bommel, Mo. House Communications

Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Richard Teitelman sang the praises of the state's drug court system during his annual State of the Judiciary Address Wednesday. He told lawmakers that 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of the state’s drug courts, which provide treatment options for non-violent drug offenders. “With a graduation rate exceeding 50 percent, Missouri now has more than 12,000 graduates who successfully have completed treatment court programs," Teitelman said. "In addition, nearly...

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

William Ray Price Jr.s two-year term as Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court ends today. He spent his last full day in charge talking to reporters about several topics, including the need to fund the states drug courts. Price says that drugs are the leading, driving force behind crime nationwide.