Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a great American--a remarkable trial attorney, prosecutor, circuit and appellate judge, and most recently, the newest member of the Missouri Supreme Court, my dear friend and constituent, the Honorable Judge George W. Draper. Late last year, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon appointed Judge Draper to the Missouri Supreme Court after 17 years on the bench and 10 years in the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's office. He is only the second African American to serve on Missouri's high court. During his 27 years of public service, Judge Draper has demonstrated a dedication to justice and to serving the people of Missouri.
Those decades of experience and his legal acumen will serve him well on the Missouri Supreme Court. While serving on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Judge Draper heard a variety of civil and criminal appeals and authored several hundred opinions. He served as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals from 2005 to 2006. Prior to his appointment to the appellate court, Judge Draper served first as an associate circuit judge from 1994 to 1998, and then as a circuit judge from 1998 to 2000 in St. Louis County. While serving as a prosecutor with the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office from 1984 to 1994, Judge Draper prosecuted numerous major felony cases and worked closely with law enforcement.
A graduate of Howard University School of Law, Judge Draper obtained his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College in Atlanta. Judge Draper has been active in several bar associations, including the Mound City Bar Association and the Missouri Bar Association, and has been supportive of the Missouri Asian Bar Association, as well as being an active member of Covenant Community Church.
Mr. Speaker, I have been blessed to know Judge George W. Draper and his wonderful family for more than three decades. His dedication to the law, to his State, and to the community that I represent is legendary. He is truly worthy of receiving this special congressional recognition.
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