Judge Robin Ransom made history this week, becoming the first Black woman to serve as a judge on Missouri’s Supreme Court. 

During a Monday news conference, Ransom, who is only the third African American judge to serve on the state’s Supreme Court, reflected on the historic appointment. 

“As the daughter of a fireman, who worked and lived in a segregated engine house when he worked for the fire department, this is a very happy day for my mom, myself and my entire family,” Ransom said. “I’m just very sorry that my father, who passed in 2007, did not live to see this day, but I know he’s looking down and he’s honored.”

“While I may be the first African American woman to be part of this court, I’d also like to say that I have never lived by a label or by any identity that anyone’s tried to put upon me,” she said. “When I look in the mirror, I have always been Robin. And I always live my life to be kind to everyone and to be the best person I can be, and I bring those same attributes to being on this court.”

Ransom thanked her colleagues and Governor Mike Parson, who appointed her to the position. In a news release, Parson said making court appointments is a duty he does not take lightly. 

“Judge Ransom will add valuable experience, perspective, and balance to the court,” Parson said. “I have high confidence that she will continue to be a fair enforcer of the law, faithfully interpret the law as written, and reasonably consider decisions made at the trial and appellate level in her own evaluation.” 

Ransom, who is filling the seat of Judge Laura Denvir Stith, who retired, was appointed to the Eastern District Court of Appeals by Parson in 2019. 

Ransom has a law degree from the University of Missouri—Columbia School of Law and an undergraduate degree in political science and sociology from Rutgers University’s Douglass College.