This week’s roundup:
- The Supreme Court panel is in: Judges Kelly Broniec of St. Louis, Michael Gardner of Cape County, and Ginger Gooch of Greene County.
With the appointment of Connie Cierpiot, Governor Parson has installed all three of his lay appointments and with Chief Justice Russell on the commission, it seemed from the start they were looking to give the governor three qualified choices that a Republican governor could confidently appoint including one from Springfield, and it’s clear that they accomplished that.
I’ve heard from several accounts that the interviews really mattered. In the interview lay member of the commission Tim Drury was a force. He asked the most pointed questions and followed up and clearly came to play. Kirk Presley from the bar was also pretty vocal.
I doubt it’s a coincidence that Tim was the most active and that Judge Gardner who clearly had an excellent interview made the panel.
Sally Hargis the lay memerb from the southern district was in a key role since most everyone knew that a southern district judge was going to get a lot of consideration and it’s safe to say that Judge Gooch had her approval.
From the interviews, it’s apparent that the people who had been through the process before had an advantage. It’s an intimidating process, and doing it a couple times has to help. Well, there is probably no coincidence that everyone that made the panel had been through the process before.
Judge Chris Limbaugh had been around the process a great deal serving as the Governor Parson’s general counsel and likely did himself well for next week’s eastern district opening in St. Louis on Tuesday.
As for the other southern Missouri contenders, it felt like Judge Borthwick was right there with Judge Gooch, but was edged out. I think Judge Growcock may have suffered from being the front-runner coming into the process. Judge Goodman has a blessing and a curse in that many believe that the next time there is a Republican president he will be a top candidate to become a federal judge.
Candidly it’s something Judge Limbaugh has to contend with as well. Most commissioners want to put someone on the Supreme Court that will be there for 20 years, not 5. However, they are more willing to put a member on an appellate court panel that might not be there for two decades.
- What’s next in Judiciary land
Look its common sense that Judge Gooch starts off as the favorite to be selected. Watch a clip of the Governor from TWMP last week on the importance of having at least one judge on the court from southern Missourah, here.
However, don’t count Judge Gardner out, and if he is not selected this time I really do believe that the next panel he makes, which could be later this year, he will be selected. If there is a stumble by Judge Gooch it won’t surprise me if he is selected this time. If she doesn’t and is selected I absolutely think he starts off as the favorite for the opening in the fall.
While Judge Broniac is obviously a star, the geographical imbalance of the current court is a tough hill to climb. Once that imbalance is leveled out she seems like she will likley be at the front of the line.
As far as the Missouri Plan every few years some out of state republican group makes a run at it. However, Judge Russell is one of the most well-respected people in the entire state and her first Supreme Court panel is nearly impossible for anyone in any wing of the republican party to quarrel with.
For the next two years, and with the outreach the legal community has done with Republican senate candidates I really think the plan is in good shape for the foreseeable future, and that is a very good thing for Missouri.
3. Williard stands up to the rich men north of Richmond
I heard a few accounts of a story about the RAGA folks from Washington calling and pressuring Governor Parson to appoint one of their Ivy League friends Will Scharf as AG after Eric Schmitt was elected to the senate, and they got so aggressive that the Lincoln County rose up in Aaron Williard over it.
I tell ya, Scharf is a real, real, smart guy and was an Assistant U.S. Attorney, but after how the DOJ has treated President Trump arresting him twice a week for a month, I don’t know how much MAGA Missourah folks are gonna be willing to trust any DOJ man.
Either way, I guess those stories about the Washington folks were right In a piece in Politico, they outline the conversation.
On one hand, it speaks well of East Coast folks to stand behind one of their own, just like it makes sense for folks from Missouri to stand by one of their own. There is no doubt that there will be millions in East Coast money poured into Missouri to elect an East Coast feller who went to Harvard. There is also no doubt that folks like Missouri Cattlemen will do what they can at cattle sales, and church suppers to support a Montgomery County war hero for AG.
Can’t fault folks for supporting thier own.
The odd part is that RAGA is theoretically made to support Republican Attorney Generals… kinda like Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey. Further, it’s a very very East Coast thing to think they could just call and give orders and weak spined Missouri folks would say yes sir.
However, the quote they gave this week for this story ran this week was one of the most Washington Asshole things I’ve ever read: “The Missouri Governor’s Office should spend less time fueling childish gossip and more time stopping the woke special interests that have taken over their public schools and state courts” – Washington Asshole Peter Bisbee.
Bailey is literally suing everyone with a P.O. Box at a clip that would make Eric Schmitt jealous. I can see reasonable people questioning him, but the wackos in Washington or even the rich men north of Richmond like ‘ol Pete really have no place to complain.
I wonder if other governors just let the rich men from Richmond run them over, or if Willard’s balls are just that big?
Man I tell ya the last ol boy I’ve heard of that came from the east coast to do a damn thing for a Missourian was Merriweather Lewis.
- State Fair Roundup
Another great state fair is in the books, real credit to longitme fair director Mark Wolfe. The lord even had the weather break for a few days to help his favorite state fair. The ham breakfast was another top event. Most everyone was there including the U.S. Senators every Republican running for Governor, Senator Rehder, Senator Hoskins, the State Treasurer Vivek Malek, Rep. Smith, Rep. Unsicker, and a host of others.
What an amazing celebration of Missourah, and I’m already looking forward to next year.
5. Big Hurlbert event
In one of the two competitive senate general elections next fall Victor Hurlbert brought in a haul last night raising $50k in Gladstone to kickstart his campaign for Senator Arthur’s seat in southern Clay County.
Extra: Why not Parson for President?
I didn’t watch the debate but tell me how Mike Parson isn’t way way better than any of those losers?
- cut taxes like 50 times –
- veteran, but not the type to constantly remind you about it
- no abortions, like none at all
- only candidate to own a tractor not just pose in front of one for pics
- toddlers can protect their 2nd amendment right with oozies
- best COVID record of any governor in the nation
- bipartisan: he served as Lt. Gov for 10,721 hours under an Obama-Democrat
- was such a tremendous leader the liberal quit as gov because he knew Parson would be so much better (only good decision that guy made)
- as president he could secure the resources to fully fund the Cardinals pitching staff
- only candidate who would know the difference between a herbicide and a pesticide – in a fight would clearly kick the ass of anyone on that stage
- has a tat
Sunday on This Week in Missouri Politics our featured guest is U.S. Senator Eric Schmitt from the United Electric Coop in Savananah and be sure to catch this week’s Show Me Missourah with Part 2 of our converation with former Governor Matt Blunt.
Brady Hays is a 2023 graduate of the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in History. He is currently attending the University of Missouri School of Law and is on pace to graduate with his JD in 2026. He has been working for the Missouri Times since early March 0f 2022.