Missouri justice honored in Moberly

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MOBERLY - Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Russell was honored Tuesday evening by the Randolph Area Pachyderm Club. 

Russell gave a presentation explaining how the Missouri judicial system works, how the different levels of courts interact, as well as the struggles she and her fellow justices face during litigation. 

Russell got the audience involved by playing a game she called, "You be the Judge," in which she presented four cases already decided by the Missouri Supreme Court and allowed the audience to deliberate and make a "decision" as a judge. After each case study, Russell polled the crowd to see who would rule in what way. 

"The third branch of government seems to be the least understood, the most mysterious," Russell said. "I like to raise the shades and open the door and make the courts more transparent."

When the topic of gay marriage in Missouri came up in an interview with KOMU 8 News, Russell was unable to give any information on an ongoing case. However, Russell did say the Missouri Supreme Court would wait for the federal court's decision on same-sex marriage before moving forward with Missouri cases currently before the Missouri Supreme Court. 

"The attorneys in those cases have asked for those cases to be put on hold until a decision is reached by the United States Supreme Court, so we're stopped right there," Russell said. 

The United States Supreme Court is scheduled to rule on same-sex marriage in June.