The Missouri Supreme Court launches a new website that outlines the history of the state’s court system, just as Missouri celebrates its bicentennial. The website features interactive timelines that divide over 200 years of history into five states. Supreme Court Judge Mary Russell says the earliest timeline goes all the way back to when the state was just a territory. Russell says it’s amazing to see how the courts have expanded over time, and how judges have become more diverse. Russell says one fascinating timeline examines how the rights of women have evolved over time.
“Sometimes this Court, of course in my opinion under today’s standards, has gotten it wrong. Back in 1870, a woman was first admitted to practice law at the Supreme Court of Missouri. And then you go 100 years later, 1970, women still had to wear skirts in the courtroom in order to be heard by a judge.”
And there’s a timeline that breaks down the advances in technology that have been made, including the adoption of holding hearings by video due to the pandemic. Russell says it's amazing how some things have changed.
"Our early judges from the 1820s might not recognize what our courts look like today, but when it's all said and done, we're still in the same business of resolving peoples' disputes peacefully."
To view the website, go to https://www.courts.mo.gov/bicentennial/.