Missouri Supreme Court Judge William Ray Price announced today that he's stepping down from the bench.
Former Gov. John Ashcroft appointed Price, 60, to the Supreme Court in 1992.
In a letter to the court, Price, a former chief justice of the court, said he'll become a "working lawyer."
And, he said, he's stepping down effective Aug. 1 to ensure that his successor is "appointed by the same Missouri Nonpartisan merit plan that has served our state so well for the past 70 years."
Gov. Jay Nixon today said Price had served with "honor and integrity.
"He has demonstrated true leadership in addressing the challenges faced by Missouri’s justice system, working to protect public safety, contain costs and ensure the fair application of the law," Nixon said. " I wish Judge Price well in the next part of his life and career.”