Thursday, January 24, 2013

State of the Judiciary

At 10:23 am on January 23, 2013, the Missouri House of Representatives voted to suspend the House Rules and allow state office holders, members of the Senate, and the Missouri Supreme Court Justices to enter the House Chambers for a Joint Session. With 150 House members and 32 Senate members present, we welcomed Chief Justice Richard B. Teitelman for the delivery of the State of the Judiciary Address. In a fashion befitting Chief Justice Teitelman, he delivered a brief address designed to pay respects to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., recognize the efforts of some exceptional Missouri citizens, and offer his view on the benefits of cooperative government. It was truly an honor to welcome him to the House chamber.

Though sometimes taken for granted, the State of the Judiciary is far from symbolic. There are few who are as well versed in the effectiveness of our state laws than the Justices who came before us Wednesday.  Their knowledge of the direct impact and success of policies - like drug courts (which our legislature created and the judiciary implemented) - serve to reinforce the rule of law in the most beneficial way to Missourians.  The ongoing dialogue that Wednesday’s address complimented will only serve to progress our judicial system toward the goals of efficiency and effectiveness.   

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