12 men, four women apply for high court's open seat

Wednesday, February 13, 2002

ST. LOUIS -- The chief justice of the Missouri Supreme Court says 12 men and four women have applied to fill the single vacancy on the state's highest court, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Tuesday.

Applications to replace Supreme Court Judge John C. Holstein, 57, who is retiring this month, were due last Friday. Chief Justice Stephen N. Limbaugh Jr. said he was surprised that only 16 people are seeking the post, since an opening on the court last year drew 28 applications.

"Historically, we've had many more applicants and I don't know the explanation," Limbaugh said.

The names of the applicants for the $123,000-a-year job were not released, but Limbaugh did say only one is a minority. That is apparently Lisa White Hardwick, 41, who is black. Currently a judge on the state Court of Appeals in Kansas City, Hardwick said Monday she had applied for the job.

The nonpartisan Appellate Judicial Commission will select three finalists from those who have applied and Gov. Bob Holden will pick the next judge from that pool of three. It will be Holden's second appointment to the state's high court. Last March, he placed Laura Denvir Stith on the bench.

Among those believed to have applied for the job is Glenn Norton, 42, who is Holden's chief legal counsel. He declined to confirm his nomination in an interview Monday, but Jerry Nachtigal, a spokesman for the governor, said Holden is aware of Norton's candidacy.

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