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Patricia Breckenridge joins the Missouri Supreme Court

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – The vacancy on Missouri's Supreme Court has been filled.

Patricia Breckenridge was sworn in Wednesday at a ceremony in Jefferson City. Before joining the state's high court she spent 17 years on the bench of the Court of Appeals Western District in Kansas City.

Breckenridge was chosen by Governor Blunt to fill a vacancy on the high court, following criticism over the Appellate Judicial Commission's selection process, which is closed to the public and media.

Blunt requested transcripts, notes, and other items from the commission before making his decision.

But the recent controversy had no apparent lingering effects as Breckenridge thanked the governor for picking her.

"I appreciate the way the governor conscientiously balanced his comprehensive inquiry into the character and experience of all three candidates...and he did so while respecting our privacy and security," Breckenridge said.

After being sworn in, Breckenridge told the audience of over 500 that early in her career as a young lawyer, it was her husband who encouraged her to become a judge.

"He thought that my nature was well-suited for being a judge...as it turns out, Bryan had greater insight into my nature than I, and his suggestion caused me to find my passion," Breckenridge said.

She takes over the seat left vacant by Judge Ronnie White, who retired earlier this year. White was the first African-American to serve on the Missouri Supreme Court.

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