JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – For the first time in state history, Missouri will have a female majority serving on its highest court.

Governor Mike Parson on Monday appointed Judge Ginger Gooch, 47, an appeals court judge from Springfield, to the Missouri Supreme Court.

“She clerked for the first woman on the Missouri Supreme Court, and now with her appointment, we cement the first female majority on our state’s highest court in state history. We know Judge Gooch is the right woman for the job,” Parson said.

Gooch will take Judge Patricia Breckenridge’s place on the bench, who retired on October 13 after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70 for the court. Republican Gov. Matt Blunt appointed Breckenridge in 2007.

In Missouri, the seven-person Appellate Judicial Commission selects three nominees to fill any vacancy on the state supreme court. The governor then has 60 days to pick a new judge from among the nominees. If the governor fails to do so, the power to select the next judge falls to the commission.

A swearing-in date has not been announced. However, Gooch must be sworn in within 30 days of her appointment, per Missouri law.

Gooch earned her bachelor of arts, summa cum laude, in English and philosophy, law, and rhetoric in 1997 from Stephens College in Columbia. In 2000, she received her law degree, cum laude, from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law and graduated at the top of her class. She was a partner with Husch Blackwell LLP in Springfield for nearly 15 years before being appointed to the appellate bench.