Robert True Donnelly

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Robert True Donnelly
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri
In office
July 1, 1973 – June 30, 1975
Succeeded by Robert E. Seiler
In office
July 1, 1981 – June 30, 1983
Preceded by John E. Bardgett
Succeeded by Albert L. Rendlen
Judge of the Supreme Court of Missouri
In office
September 7, 1965 – 1988
Appointed by Warren E. Hearnes
Succeeded by Ann K. Covington
Personal details
Born (1924-08-31)August 31, 1924
Lebanon, Missouri[1]
Died June 16, 1999(1999-06-16) (aged 74)
Jefferson City, Missouri
Spouse(s) Wanda Sue Oates
Alma mater University of Missouri School of Law
University of Missouri
University of Tulsa
Religion Presbyterian

Robert True Donnelly was a judge on the Missouri Supreme Court from 1965 until 1988, and the Chief Justice of that same court twice, from 1973 to 1975 and again from 1981 to 1983. He was educated at the public schools of Tulsa, Oklahoma and also did graduate work at the University of Tulsa.[2] During his 23 years on the court, he authored 546 opinions.[3] While Chief Justice, he drew headlines by criticizing the Supreme Court of the United States for interpreting the U.S. Constitution beyond what the Founding Fathers "had envisioned."[4][5] He also claimed that modern education was failing because it didn't "teach religious and moral values."[4] He once called the Miranda Rule, "an example of tipping the balance in favor of the accused."[6]


  1. ^ Official Manual of Missouri, 1985-1986
  2. ^ James C. Kirkpatrick. Official Manual State of Missouri 1975-1976. Jefferson City, Missouri: Von Hoffmann Press, Inc. p. 202. 
  3. ^ "Robert Donnelly, served on Missouri top court." Plain Dealer, page 7B. June 22, 1999.
  4. ^ a b Terry Ganey, "Robert T. Donnelly, former Missouri Chief Justice." St. Louis Post-Dispatch, page D12. June 18, 1999.
  5. ^ Robert T. Donnelly, "The Supreme Court as arbiter of morals." St. Louis Post-Dispatch, page 3B. June 2, 1996.
  6. ^ "Our Rights in Court: How They've Changed." U.S. News & World Reports, page 40. November 1, 1982.