The SUPREME COURT of MISSOURI Historical Society

Thomas Simon

Clerk of Supreme Court, 1972 to 2011

Simon was instrumental in the process throughout the 1970s to reform the judiciary, culminating in the legislature’s passage of a constitutional amendment approved by the state’s voters in August 1976. This amendment made significant improvements that continue to this day, including consolidating the multitude of trial courts into a system of circuit courts; consolidating the appellate courts into one court with three geographic districts; allowing judges to be transferred temporarily from one court to another to help manage case loads; and changing the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction so there no longer are significant delays in resolving most cases and all decisions are handled by all seven judges rather than by a division of just three judges.

Simon also helped the courts persuade the legislature to stabilize the judiciary’s budget, bring salaries more in line with the work judges do for the state, and fund a technological revolution that has transformed the way cases are processed and that makes the work of the courts much more accessible to the public.