Information from:
Missouri Family Network

P.O. Box 1288 * Festus, MO 63028 * Voice 573/483-2007 * Mobile 314/971-2477 *

~ Defending the Traditional Family ~

Missouri Supreme Court Judge

Richard B. Teitelman

Vote “NO”

Supreme Court Judicial Activist Faces Voter Approval

November 2nd vote to determine twelve year term for the court’s most liberal judge.

Below you will find: (click to jump to)                                  To Missouri First Home Page
The Issue - The Problem with Judge Teitleman
The Appointment / Retention Process
An Example of a recent Appointment by Governor Holden
Retention Schedule for all seven Missouri Supreme Court Judges
Examples of Judge Teitelman's record


Photo of Teitelman
Judge Richard B. Teitelman

The Issue: The Problem With Judge Teitelman

On your November 2nd, 2004 General Election ballot there will be a statewide retention vote for one of the most powerful and liberal judges in Missouri! If approved, he will serve for twelve more years!

Missouri Supreme Court Judge Richard B. Teitelman was appointed to the state’s highest court on February 21st, 2002. Teitelman’s appointment was the second such liberal addition to the Supreme Court made by our current controversial Governor, Bob Holden, who was rejected by his own Democrat party voters in the August 3rd election

With his second selection seated on the bench, Missouri’s top court swung to a liberal majority for the first time in state’s history. T

This first time ever 4-3 leftists control realigned Missouri’s judiciary to a liberal activist court with major implications towards the culture that our children and children’s children will inherit.

Teitelman has written several activist decisions since his appointment which expose him as much more liberal than most. The majority opinions he has authored are clear examples of the kind of judicial activism which lead to judicial tyranny. Even before his appointment, Judge Teitelman had developed a somewhat controversial reputation as a liberal activist. For a full 23 years he worked with the notorious Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, serving 18 of those years as executive director and general counsel. Prior to his joining the MO State Supreme Court, Teitelman was appointed to the Missouri Court of Appeals in 1998 by then Governor Mel Carnahan as a trusted liberal activist who would back up the administration’s pro-abortion, pro-homosexual policies.

As you review the sample cases listed later, you’ll see for yourself that this judge is so far out to the left that he is just out-of-touch with both Missouri values and our entire court system which he sits atop of! Teitelman is forging a new course for the State’s Supreme Court. He is not connecting with the history or traditional restraints that has guided our Court for over 180 years. He does not relate to the legal analysis of the senior members of the Court, whether serving or retired. Worse of all, he decides cases with little or no concern for the rule of law or former constitutional precedents!

In short, the biggest threat to the traditional Missouri values which have helped to safeguard our midwest culture is no longer the Legislature (which we the voters removed from liberal domination) but the Courts! While liberals had control of the MO Legislature, the state court system helped to keep them in check, to a small degree. Most liberal judicial advances were initiated in the Federal Court system as activists avoided the Missouri Supreme Court as much as possible. This has all changed. Today the Legislature is returning to a more conservative direction but the state court system has been detoured toward liberalism.

Missourians will soon discover that as the new liberal majority on the bench grow in tenure, so they will in boldness and activism. We must respond now - not later!


The Appointment / Retention Process

 Judges of the Supreme Court of Missouri, along with all of the Missouri Court of Appeals (all three districts) and the circuit courts in Clay County, Jackson County, Platte County, the City of St. Louis and St. Louis Co. (Kansas City & St. Louis areas) are all appointed through what is called the Nonpartisan Court Plan. The procedures for these various appointments and any opportunity for voters to retain these judges are outlined in the Missouri State Constitution which operates as follows:

Those seeking to be appointed to fill a vacancy in the appellate or Supreme Court bench apply to an Appellate Judicial Commission, which is comprised of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, three citizens appointed by the governor and three attorneys selected by The Missouri Bar. The Commission will review all the submitted applications and conducts interviews before it selects a panel of three finalists to nominate to the governor.  The governor must select from one of those three individuals sometime within 60 days to fill the judicial vacancy. Failure of the governor to make the final appointment would shift the responsibility back to the Commission itself.

Once an appointment is made, that new judge takes office.  The new judge then must sit for a retention vote at the next general election after he or she has been in office for at least one year.  If at least 50 percent of the voters in that election agree to retain the judge on the ballot, they would then serve a full term on the bench.  For all appellate judges, including the Supreme Court, the term would be for 12 years. (For circuit judges, the term is six years, and for associate circuit judges, the term is four years.)  This applies despite of the length of time remaining in the term of the judge that for whatever reason has vacated the bench and is being replaced.

The Missouri State Constitution requires that Judges appointed to the Supreme Court of Missouri must be at least 30 years old (may serve until 70), licensed to practice law in the state, citizen of the United States for at least 15 years, and also qualified to vote in Missouri for at least nine years prior to their appointment.


An Example of the Process

Governor Holden’s third appointment moves the Court even further to the left with a 5-2 liberal split!

Judge Duane Benton, former member of the Missouri Supreme Court tendered his resignation this summer as a result of being appointed by President George W. Bush to the federal court (United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, Kansas City). Due to the vacancy created by Judge Benton’s resignation, an Appellate Judicial Commission was established to collect and review applicants to fill the vacancy.

Once established, the Commission posted notice that they would accept applications for the state’s high court for a thirty day period (July 21-August 20, 2004). The Commission members then met with applicants for interviews September 2nd and 3rd. The purpose of these preliminary steps were to select three final panelists to recommend to the Governor. It was then Governor Bob Holden’s call to choose one individual within the following 60 days to fill the vacancy.

On September 20th Gov. Holden named yet another liberal to the States highest court, Judge Mary Rhodes Russell. Russell, just as Teitelman before her, was appointed to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, by former Gov. Carnahan. She is only 46 years of age but fits a profile which qualifies her for such a prestigious appointment from Missouri’s most dishonored governor! On top of all other biography bragging is her board membership of the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life (the same late Sue Shear, former state legislator, known for her extreme socialist positions).


Retention Election Schedule

November 2004

Judge Richard B. Teitelman
(who replaced Judge John C. Holstein) will face his original vote for retention on the bench.

November 2006

Judge Mary Rhodes Russell
(Gov. Holden’s most recent and third appointment on Sept. 20, 2004) will face her first retention.

Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh Jr.
will face voters for a second 12 year retention vote.

Judge William Ray Price Jr.
also faces a second retention vote for another 12 year term.

November 2008

Chief Justice Ronnie L. White
will be up for retention for his second 12 year term.

November 2012

Judge Michael A. Wolff
will be facing a second retention vote for another 12 year term.

November 2014

Judge Laura Denvir Stith
will be looking at her retention for a second 12 year term


Judge Teitelman's Record

Judge Richard B. Teitelman is a far left liberal activist who is simply out-of-touch:

In an interview “How Appealing's 20 questions site” (found at made the statement that “Although the selection process may be nonpartisan in design, the Supreme Court of Missouri currently consists of four individuals selected by Democratic Governors and three individuals selected by Republican Governors, and the court is often divided 4-3 along party lines in high-profile cases.” In response, Judge Teitelman retorted, “Actually, approximately 98.5% of the decisions of the Supreme Court of Missouri are unanimous. All the judges who sit on our Court are nonpartisan and exercise their independent judgment on cases.”

This writer does not claim to have researched every case released by the court but has heard similar claims made over the years by various members of the court. Obviously someone has kept up with statistics. But a review of decisions written by Judge Teitelman in the almost two and a half years he has already served on the court reveals that he must be out-of-touch! I keep finding cases where he has little to no agreement with the court as a whole.

A 1.5% non-unanimous track record would mean only three out of every two hundred cases would split.

Therefore let’s consider a few cases Judge Teitelman has authored so far. Bear in mind that as of this writing less than 250 cases have cleared the Court since Judge Teitelman was appointed to the bench. As the seven member Court tries to maintain an equal work load among their members, they also refrain from overbearing any new members. So Judge Teitelman at the most has only authored maybe a few dozen majority opinions. Yet I keep finding his “independent judgment” (as he put it) not only out-of-touch with cultural standards, but far too often in contradiction to the 98.5% claim he cites!

Out-of-touch With the Family

Out-of-touch With Law & Order

Alienation of Affection

Judge Teitelman wiped out the civil use of alienation of affection as a legal tool to protect marriages in Missouri with this case. Arguing from personal opinions instead of consulting the factual history of marriage in our state he abused his seat on the high court to undermine the Family in order to perpetuate a feminist lie that men see marriage as a greedy ownership of women, from pagan cultural backgrounds. In this 5-2 split decision, Family and the institution of Marriage lost! See the best article on this case, Banish the Druids, reprinted later in this newsletter.  (Click here for details)

For full documentation see: SC85053

Criminal Defense Evidence

Most citizens never study court rules, but we all benefit from them. Civil and criminal court rules keep uniform order in the judiciary. If they fluctuate, justice becomes a whim of postmodern thought. In this case a man was convicted of forcible rape and forcible sodomy, sending the victim to the hospital with multiple injuries. He is now claiming that she consented but some evidence is historically blocked due to its biased nature. But this is no longer the rule. Judge Teitelman’s 4-3 split decision now expands the rules of evidence in favor of a violent criminal!

For full documentation see: SC85620

Internet Twins

Everyone has read or heard news accounts of the crack addicted mother, who for drug money put her twin girls up for sale over the internet. Media distortions abound but clear facts show the mother gained financially from the three adoptions she initiated. Mom illegally cleared one adoption to a British couple but was caught. After 22 months of treating her premature twins as trash, this Judge reinstated parental rights in a 4-3 split! (Click here for details)

For full documentation see: SC85683

Child Endangerment

In yet another 4-3 split case, Judge Teitelman leads the court to hand a 6 year old boy back to a ‘father’ who is a registered sex offender who was no longer capable of caring for the boy due to a significant head injury. The lower court had terminated parental rights in part when it was shown that he was also taking showers with the boy! While this and the “internet twins” case touches parental rights, Teitelman rules from the left!

For full documentation see: SC85792


Internet TwinsAbuse From The Mother ~or~ Abuse From The Court?

The Missouri Supreme Court reversed a high profile child custody case. In a lengthy decision, the Missouri Supreme Court voted 4-3 to reverse a St. Louis judge's decision to strip Tranda Wecker, whose two adoptions over the Internet sparked an international uproar, of all her parental rights. With a 7-0 ruling, the court invalid-dated the twins' adoption last spring by foster parents.

The court's ruling seeks to clarify boundaries in which parental rights can be terminated. In doing so the court said that poverty should not be confused with child abuse, but failed to separate abuse from poverty!

In his dissenting opinion, Judge William Price noted that since the twins were released from a hospital in August 2000, they have been in Wecker's sole care only 52 days. They turned 4 in June. She emotionally abused the twins "by vacillating in making decisions about their care and in her repeated placement and subsequent withdrawal of the twins for adoption," Price wrote. Wecker ignored her doctor's advice to take medicine to prevent premature labor and delivery.

Wecker, 32, said she has been separated from twins Kiara and Keyara since June 23, 2002. They were born, prematurely, in June 2000. Wecker, who is divorced from Aaron Wecker, remarried last June.

Judge Richard Teitelman wrote the court's majority ruling, pointing out that at the time of the twins' birth, Tranda Wecker already was raising three children. The case drew international publicity after a California couple said they paid an Internet broker $6,000 in 2000 to adopt the girls but that Wecker took them for a visit and never returned.

A Welsh couple said they had paid the broker $12,000 to adopt the same children in Arkansas and then took them back to England. After the judge in Arkansas voided that adoption, the twins were put into state custody in Missouri. The parental rights and adoption disputes before Ohmer ensued.

In reversing Ohmer's ruling, the state Supreme Court, Judge Teitelman, said it didn't find evidence to support termination of Wecker's parental rights.

I’m not sure which I find more troubling: That Tranda Wecker went to such manipulative lengths to dispose of her twin daughters or that Supreme Court Justice Richard Teitelman would describe the process as “normal.”

Wecker, who pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges in 2001 after she admitted she lied to get rent subsidies, food stamps and unemployment benefits, will now likely get back the kids she didn’t want nearly four years ago.

I wholeheartedly disagree with the contention that her parental rights were inappropriately terminated. It’s clear that Wecker relinquished her parental rights when she twice agreed to adopt them out. It must be in only extreme circumstances when a state should come between a parent and a child. Relinquishing your parental rights and responsibilities is surely one of them.

Joe Kelley, Rominger Legal

Information on this page from the St. Louis Post Dispatch, and
News Articles From Rominger Legal, Joe Kelley

Four years of turmoil

June 2000 - Tranda Wecker of St. Louis gives birth to twin girls Kiara and Keyara.

October - Richard and Vickie Allen of Highland, Calif., get the girls in an adoption arranged by a private Internet adoption agency. They pay $6,000 to Tina Johnson of the agency, A Caring Heart.

December - The Allens let Tranda Wecker have the babies for a while, but she does not return them.

December - A judge in Little Rock, Ark., approves adoption of the twins by Alan and Judith Kilshaw of Great Britain, who pay Johnson $12,000. (Wecker lied about her state residency to access the Ark. court.)

March 2001 - A judge in Little Rock, Ark., nullifies the adoption by the Kilshaws.

April - A British judge rules that the girls should go back to St. Louis.

December 2002 - Judge Steven Ohmer strips Wecker, and the twins' father Aaron Wecker, of their parental rights and opens the way for the twins' adoption.

May 2003 - Adoption of twins by their foster couple in St. Louis is final.

March 2004 - The court invalidates the adoption and returns the case to St. Louis, where Wecker says she will attempt to regain custody.

March 30, 2004 – Judge Richard Teitelman says it is in the best interest of the twins to be with an abusive mother!


Banish the Druids Consensual sex trumps traditional boundaries

By Richard Nadler 7-15-03

The June 26 U.S. Supreme Court decision that posited consensual sodomy as a constitutionally protected right was not an isolated event. It was predicated on a decades-long assault by liberal jurists on anti-adultery statutes and torts — an assault that decriminalized and destigmatized Bible-based laws restricting heterosexual activity.

Missouri provides a recent example. "Alienation of affection" is a common law tort that can be brought against the seducer of a married individual, male or female, by the wronged spouse on the basis of sexual and/or material loss. On June 17, 2003, in Helsel v. Noellsch, Missouri became the 39th state to abolish it.

No one blinked. Adultery had already been decriminalized in Missouri by a 1979 act of the legislature. In 1994, the state supreme court uprooted the tort of "criminal conversation," a civil action based on proven adultery.

Indeed, the only uncommon feature of this breach with common law was the manner of its making. Thirty-three other states had repealed "alienation of affection" by statute. In Missouri, it fell to a 5-to-2 majority of the state supreme court.

Speaking for the majority, Judge Richard Teitelman posited two reasons for insulating marriage-breakers from civil actions: first, that such actions were premised on barbaric assumptions insulting to women; and second, that consistency demanded it.

According to Judge Teitelman, alienation of affection is "inextricably bound" to antiquated property concepts. In order to ensure pure bloodlines and discourage adultery," he wrote,

the early Germanic tribes provided that men were entitled to payment from the wife's lover so that the husband could purchase a new spouse… As successors to the Germanic tradition, the Anglo-Saxons also provided a cause of action for men to recover for another's interference with the marital relationship…

The original justification for the tort of alienation of affection lies in the antiquated concept that husbands had a proprietary interest in the person and services of wives.”

But the American legislatures that established this cause of action, starting with New York in 1864, were peopled not by Druids, but by Christians. And the concept they adopted was Mosaic, not Germanic. Jewish law assumes marital obligations defined by, but not limited to, property and service. And this law posits property and service requirements on both male and female. The husband must provide his wife food, clothing, and marital relations. A Ketuba, or marriage contract, can specify property rights in addition to these.

Nor was the husband his wife's slaveholder under English Christian law. Under the Married Women's Property Acts, a wronged wife could bring actions against a seductress who impaired her rights under the marriage contract.

The case facts in Helsel v. Noellsch blur Judge Teitleman’s historic rationale for its overturn. Katherine Helsel, a wife and mother, brought suit against Sivi Noellsch, her husband's physical therapist, for "alienation of affections." Noellsch's liaison with David, Katherine's husband, included dating, gifts, sex, and constant surreptitious communications. The romance bloomed while Mrs. Helsel was bearing her husband's second child. David announced his intention to divorce her within days of that child's birth.

He subsequently married Sivi.

A jury, hearing the evidence, awarded Katherine Helsel actual damages of $50,000 and punitive damages of $25,000.

By overturning this verdict, and its cause, Judge Teitleman “protected” a married woman from chattel status by denying her a quantifiable claim against an assault on her marriage.

Not all states have rushed to overturn tradition. The supreme court of Mississippi upheld the same tort. Its majority wrote, “[A spouse] is entitled to society, companionship, love, affection, aid, services, support, sexual relations and the comfort of her husband as special rights and duties growing out of the marriage covenant. To these may be added the right to live together in the same house, to eat at the same table, and to participate together in the activities, duties and responsibilities necessary to make a home… To abolish the tort of alienation of affections would, in essence, send the message that we are devaluing the marriage relationship.”

Katherine Helsel’s attorney, Craig Ritchie, argued that “alienation of affections” provides a monetary disincentive to adulterous behavior, while its removal eliminates the last cause of action against a third party who “wrongfully interferes in a marital relationship.”

Judge Duane Benton penned the dissent in the June 17 Missouri decision. The common law, he observed, continues to acknowledge interference with marital consortium as a cause of action by a spouse suffering the loss. If work-based negligence denied a wife the affections of her husband, a tort could proceed. “In alienation of affection,” Benton wrote, “a defendant’s intentional conduct causes the loss… It is inconsistent that the law compensates for negligent conduct causing a loss of consortium, but (after this opinion) does not compensate for intentional conduct causing the same loss.”

In other words, a marriage-breaker now enjoys special immunity from civil prosecution when a marriage contract is impaired. Consensual sex trumps traditional boundaries.

This was the consistency for which Judge Teitleman pleaded. “If a spouse cannot recover because of an adulterous affair under a criminal conversation theory, “ he wrote, “a spouse should likewise be barred from recovery by simply attaching the moniker of ‘alienation of affection’ to the petition.”

And there is little doubt that consistent hostility to Judaic and Christian concepts of marriage excludes the criminalization of adulterous behavior, non-marital sex, and/or consensual sodomy.

“Over time,” wrote Dennis Owens, attorney for defendant Sivi Noellsch, “the courts and society in general have increasingly recognized that individual consent is central to the contemporary marital relationship — not only to its creation, but to its maintenance as well. Increasingly, there is both implicit and explicit recognition in the law that marital partners are individuals, each with a separate intellectual and emotional makeup. To allow recovery against a third party for loss of a spouse’s affections now runs counter to the central principles in our modern legal system that recognize individual autonomy.”

This primacy of “individual autonomy” over marriage banishes not just the Druids, whose effect on American law was minimal, but the Jews and Christians, who regard adultery as a punishable sin, and marriage as a contract before God involving property and services.

Richard Nadler is editor of KC Jones Monthly, a Midwestern journal of opinion.