New Chief Justice of Missouri Supreme Court starts Wednesday

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JEFFERSON CITY - Judge Patricia Breckenridge will begin her two-year term Wednesday as the new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri.

Breckenridge has served on the Supreme Court of Missouri since 2007.

In a news conference Tuesday, Breckenridge said the Supreme Court's duty is to interpret the law, regardless of the decision's popularity.

"We have to decide cases with the law, and whether people like the law or not, that is our guide," Breckenridge said. "Therefore, we sometimes make decisions that are not very popular."

The Missouri Supreme court announced several decisions Tuesday.  Two of these decisions related to the "right to farm" amendment and the "right to bear arms" amendment.  In the wake of these rulings, Breckenridge admitted that interpreting the constitution is not always as simple as black and white.

"The decisions aren't always easy," Breckenridge said. "At times the statutes or constitution can be ambiguous. And so reasonable minds can differ."

Breckenridge said the Judges of the Supreme Court of Missouri understand their decisions carry significant social and legal consequences. However, the law is the law, she said.

Breckenridge said she is honored to serve as the chief justice. However, she would like to remind everyone the chief justice is a small part of Missouri's Supreme Court.

"The chief justice is just one vote," said Breckenridge. "The important decisions are made by all of the judges."

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