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Missouri Constitution is the State Supreme Court's Rule Book


In this installment of Making Democracy Work, Lois Zerrer talks with Mary Rhodes Russell, chief justice of the Missouri Supreme Court, about her job and the work of the court.

There are seven judges on the MO Supreme Court, an odd number so that there's never a tie, according to Russell.  She said the kind of cases the court is allowed to hear is determined by the Missouri Constitution, which is the court's rule book.  According to the Constitution, the Supreme Court of Missouri shall only hear cases that are of statewide interest or general importance, Russell said.  The Supreme Court also hears cases in which the trial court juries impose the death penalty.  The court also hears cases in which someone challenges the constitutionality of a statute.