First Black woman appointed to Missouri Supreme Court

First Black woman appointed to Missouri Supreme Court
© Office of Gov. Mike Parson

Gov. Mike Parson (R-Mo.) on Monday appointed the first Black female judge to serve on Missouri’s Supreme Court.

Missouri Eastern District Appeals Court Judge Robin Ransom was appointed to replace Judge Laura Denvir Stith, who retired in March and was the second woman to serve on the state’s Supreme Court, ABC News reports.

“She was the best qualified candidate for the Supreme Court," Parson said of Ransom, "and that’s why she was chosen for the position."

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Ransom will be the third Black judge to serve on Missouri’s Supreme Court and will serve alongside Chief Justice George Draper, who is the second Black judge appointed to the court.

“I can't cure all of the social ills and injustices that are out there, and this appointment won't do that,” Ransom told reporters. “What this appointment does show is that this governor has the courage to make such an appointment, that he has great vision for this state, and he knows how great this state is and what this state can be.”

ABC notes that Ransom’s appointment is significant for Missouri, as it was the state where 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed by a Ferguson police officer in 2014, sparking what would become the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Ransom told reporters that she was defined by more than her race, ABC reports.

“I have never lived by a label or by any identity that anyone's tried to put upon me,” the judge said. “When I look in the mirror, I’ve always been Robin. And I’ve always lived my life to be kind to everyone and to be the best person that I can be.”

ABC notes that Ransom’s appointment does not require confirmation from the Missouri’s state Senate, unlike that of a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.