Narrowing Judicial Immunity: Holding Judges Accountable For Exercising Jurisdiction Where They Are Statutorily Barred From Doing So

Rockett ex rel. K.R. v. Eighmy, 71 F.4th 665 (8th Cir. 2023).

By: Grace N. Rowden*

I.        Introduction

           The Rockett family was struggling through the hardships of divorce, and the parents needed help to determine the custody of their children, who had moved between three different states in a short time.[1]. To resolve a custody dispute, they enlisted the help of the judicial system only to be betrayed by one of its most esteemed members.[2]  Instead of helping them, Judge Eric Eighmy placed the Rockett children in detainment not once, but twice.[3] Judge Eighmy’s actions only added to the trauma the children were already experiencing, yet he will only face potential liability for one of those actions because of the doctrine of judicial immunity.[4] Absolute judicial immunity is a long-standing doctrine in American jurisprudence.[5]  It is necessary to protect judges against personal liability from disgruntled litigants.[6]  However, as the Supreme Court has recognized, the doctrine should not extend further than necessary to serve that purpose.[7]  

           Part II of this Note discusses the facts and holding of Rockett ex rel. K.R. v. Eighmy.[8]  Part III of this Note touches on the relevant legal background of the doctrine of absolute judicial immunity.  Part IV lays out the instant decision in Rockett.  Part V discusses how judicial immunity can be narrowed to protect people like the Rockett children, and consequently strengthen the public’s perception of the justice system, while still protecting judges from unfounded litigation by disgruntled litigants.

II.        Facts and Holding

A.   Factual Background

           Bart Rockett and Kami Ballard were divorced in Missouri, but moved to California together after their divorce because their children, K.R. and B.R., were aspiring actors.[9]  After the divorce, Rockett and Ballard shared custody of the children, but after some time, Ballard brought an action to obtain sole custody.[10]  She first brought the action in California but later filed again in Missouri.[11] Judge Eighmy presided over the Missouri custody case.[12]  During the initial proceedings, the parties worked out an agreement where the children would stay with Ballard for one month and then return to Rockett.[13]

           The children, who had been waiting in the hallway, were upset by this decision and began to protest.[14]  Judge Eighmy saw the commotion and took the children into a conference room to discuss the situation.[15] He informed them that, if they did not leave Hollywood, they would not grow up to be “normal.”[16] When they continued to protest, he personally escorted them to a jail cell and left.[17] He returned an hour later to let them out of custody.[18]  The children agreed to go with their mother after Eighmy threatened to send them to foster care.[19]  Several months later, Eighmy held a hearing on a contempt motion Ballard filed to get the kids returned to her, but Rockett and the children, who were now living in Louisiana, failed to attend.[20]  Eighmy issued a pick-up order[21] for the children, who once again found themselves in confinement, this time at a juvenile-detention center in Louisiana.[22]  The Missouri Supreme Court issued a writ of prohibition ordering Eighmy to vacate the pick-up order, and the children were released.[23]

B.   Procedural Background

           After the Missouri Supreme Court vacated the pick-up order, Rockett filed suit against Eighmy in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri alleging that, by twice placing his children in custody, Eighmy had violated their First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights.[24]  Eighmy filed a motion to dismiss, arguing he had absolute immunity from suit, but the district court denied the judge’s motion and allowed the case to proceed.[25] Eighmy immediately appealed to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.[26]  The Eighth Circuit reviewed the denial of the motion to dismiss de novo.[27]  Regarding the first act of putting the children in jail, the court held Judge Eighmy was not entitled to absolute immunity because what he did was not “a function normally performed by a judge” because judges “do not do double duty as jailers.”[28]   With regard to the second act, the court held Judge Eighmy was entitled to absolute immunity because a pick-up order is a function normally performed by a judge, and he had subject-matter jurisdiction over the issue.[29]

III.        Legal Background

A.   History and Purpose of Judicial Immunity

           Judicial immunity has been rooted in the common law for hundreds of years.[30]  The first well-known English case to grant judicial immunity was decided in 1607.[31]  The first time the Supreme Court of the United States recognized judicial immunity was in 1868.[32]  England primarily recognized this immunity to “eliminate collateral attacks on judgments” and to “confine procedures in error” to the King’s Courts.[33]  Today’s appellate system was not yet in place, so the only way to challenge a decision was to make an accusation against the decision-maker.[34]  If the litigant successfully challenged the decision, the judgment would be nullified, and the judge would be fined. However, as the appellate system began to form, so did judicial immunity.[35]  In comparison, the current purpose of judicial immunity is to allow judges to freely “act upon [their] own convictions, without apprehension of personal consequences.”[36]  It is believed that a judge cannot properly adjudicate a case if he or she is threatened by personal liability for the decision, so absolute immunity is required, even for erroneous or malicious acts.[37]

B.   “Absolute” Immunity

           The Supreme Court of the United States [the “Court”] has clarified and expanded its judicial immunity doctrine since its first decision in Randall v. Brigham.[38]  In Randall, the Court decided that an action for damages does not lie even when the judge exceeds his or her jurisdiction but made a caveat saying there could be such an action if the judge’s act was done maliciously or corruptly.[39]  Today, there is absolute immunity for judicial acts, regardless of malicious intent.[40]  In Bradley v. Fisher, the Court found that allowing suits against malicious judges would essentially eradicate the doctrine of judicial immunity because malice is easily pled and cannot be proved or disproved without discovery or a trial.[41]

           There are two exceptions to “absolute” immunity.[42]  A judge can be held civilly liable for his or her actions when he or she was (1) performing a nonjudicial act or (2) acting in the clear absence of all jurisdiction.[43]  In cases where immunity applies, the injured party cannot receive money damages, but he or she can seek a reversal of the judgment and restoral of his or her rights.[44]  Therefore, the appellate system acts as a remedy for harmed litigants.[45]  

1.   Nonjudicial Acts

           The Supreme Court has created a “functional approach” to determine when an act is judicial or nonjudicial, which can be difficult to assess.[46]  A court must consider the functions that the official has been lawfully entrusted to perform and evaluate how liability would affect the official’s exercise of those functions.[47]  Thus, the immunity is defined by the function, not by the person performing the act.[48]  When performing this analysis, the court must consider the distinction between acts that are judicial in nature and acts that are administrative, legislative, or executive in nature.[49]  Two factors help make the distinction: (1) whether the function is normally performed by a judge and (2) whether the parties dealt with the judge in his or her judicial capacity.[50]  An act that is performed informally can still be rendered a judicial act.[51]  When deciding whether an act was judicial, it is the nature and function of the act that matters, not the act itself, because “an improper or erroneous act cannot be said to be normally performed by a judge.”[52]

           The Supreme Court has performed this analysis in several cases, denying judicial immunity in some cases while accepting it in others. For example, in Bradley, the Court had to determine whether a judge was absolutely immune from suit brought by an attorney whom the judge had ordered to be stricken from the list of attorneys practicing in the court.[53]  The judge alleged that the attorney had aggressively confronted him and threatened him with personal chastisement.[54]  The attorney argued the judge was lying about the threats and had in fact threatened him.[55]  He also said the judge had fabricated the order striking his name from the list of practicing attorneys, which the attorney said he did not have jurisdiction to do.[56]  The Court ruled judicial immunity protected the judge from suit, regardless of the judge’s motives, reasoning that the order was made “in the lawful exercise and performance of his authority and duty as [the court’s] presiding justice.”[57]

           Circuit courts have also dealt with this issue. In Liles v. Reagan, the Eighth Circuit found that absolute judicial immunity protected a judge when he or she is holding litigants in contempt.[58]  In McAlester v. Brown, the Fifth Circuit held that the doctrine applied to a judge who, while not in the courtroom nor in his robes, punished a defendant’s parents for contempt.[59]  In Gregory v. Thompson, the Ninth Circuit denied judicial immunity to a judge who physically removed an individual from a courtroom.[60]  In Gross v. Rell, the Second Circuit granted judicial immunity to a judge who ruled on an involuntary conservatorship action after erroneously concluding that the court had personal jurisdiction over the action.[61]

2.   Clear Absence of All Jurisdiction

           The second exception to judicial immunity is when a judge acts without jurisdiction.[62]  This is notably different from acting in excess of jurisdiction,[63] or acting without statutory authority.[64]  This distinction is necessary because the manner or extent of a judge’s jurisdiction is generally a question for the judge, just like other legal questions of the case.[65]  Therefore, the jurisdiction’s scope needs to be interpreted broadly in judicial immunity cases.[66]  As such, a judge who acts in excess of his or her jurisdiction is still immune, but a judge who acts in absence of any subject-matter jurisdiction is not immune.[67] Thus, the necessary inquiry is whether a judge has subject-matter jurisdiction over a case before him or her.[68]

C.   Misconduct of Judges and the Resulting Discipline

           There was little judicial oversight prior to the Judicial Councils Reform and Judicial Conduct and Disability Act of 1980.[69]  Prior to the enactment of the Act, the only discipline judges faced was the extreme measure of impeachment.[70]  Even after the Act was passed, members of the judicial system were in charge of reviewing complaints against other judges, and those members could not act until someone else filed a complaint.[71]  Congress realized that, even in high-profile judicial misconduct cases, complaints were not being filed, and those in charge of reviewing complaints had their hands tied.[72]  So, in 1990, Congress amended the Act to allow chief circuit judges to investigate on their own based on information brought to them.[73]  Since then, Congress has created commissions to address problems with the self-regulating judicial system.[74]

           Even with the additional measures, a study on over 1,500 cases of judicial misconduct from 2008 to 2019 shows that judicial misconduct occurs more frequently than one would like to think, and judges rarely face severe consequences for their wrongful behavior.[75]  These cases only included those where the judge resigned, retired, or faced public discipline for the misconduct.[76]  The study found that nine out of ten judges were allowed to keep their judicial positions after being disciplined for their misconduct.[77]

D.   Jurisdiction in Child Custody Cases

           Every state except Massachusetts has adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) to govern child custody cases.[78]  The UCCJEA helps neutralize issues in custody disputes when the parents live in different states, generally by giving jurisdiction to the “home state” of the child.[79]  Missouri has codified the UCCJEA.[80]  Generally, the “home state” of the child when the proceedings began has jurisdiction.[81]  Another state is viable if it was the home state of the child within six months before the proceeding and a parent still lives there.[82]  When more than one state is a viable option, no state can exercise jurisdiction unless the others have declined to exercise jurisdiction.[83]

If the other states have declined to exercise jurisdiction, the most appropriate state must meet two qualifications to have jurisdiction: (1) the child and at least one of the child’s parents have a significant connection, other than physical presence, to the state and (2) there is substantial evidence in the state regarding the child’s life.[84]  If child custody proceedings are ongoing in one state, another state shall not exercise jurisdiction over the same child custody case.[85]  Missouri courts used to treat Section 452.740 as taking away jurisdiction from a court,[86] but the Missouri Supreme Court changed that in Hightower v. Myers.[87]  The court held Article V of the Missouri Constitution established the jurisdiction of courts, and jurisdiction is not changed just because a court does not have statutory authority to grant relief in a particular case.[88]

IV.        Instant Decision

           The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court’s finding that judicial immunity did not apply to Judge Eighmy’s actions, and it remanded for further proceedings.[89]  The court affirmed the ruling that judicial immunity did not apply to Judge Eighmy’s first act of putting the children in jail, but it reversed the ruling for the second act, finding that judicial immunity did apply.[90]

           The court applied the functionality test to determine whether Judge Eighmy’s acts were judicial in nature.[91]  In applying the functionality test, the court found that Judge Eighmy was acting as a bailiff when he personally escorted the children to jail, an act not covered by judicial immunity.[92]  The court reasoned that the children were not in the courtroom, so they could not be held in contempt, and even if the judge had authority to order someone else to escort them to jail, he did not have authority to take them himself.[93]  However, by issuing a pick-up order, he was performing a standard judicial act.[94]

           After establishing that issuing a pick-up order for the children was a judicial act, the court went on to assess whether Judge Eighmy had jurisdiction to issue the order.[95]  It found that, despite a statute saying there could not be custody actions ongoing in two states, Judge Eighmy did have jurisdiction.[96]  It reasoned that jurisdiction is governed by Article V of the Missouri Constitution, not the statutory authority to grant relief in a particular case.[97]  The jurisdictional test for judicial immunity is whether the judge acted in the “complete absence of all jurisdiction,” so the court found that judicial immunity applied because Judge Eighmy’s general jurisdiction gave him jurisdiction to hear the case.[98]  He did not have statutory authority to hear it, but the statute did not affect the subject-matter jurisdiction of the court.[99]

V.        Comment

           Judicial immunity is a necessary evil that may harm particular litigants, but it protects the public by ensuring judges have the ability to decide cases on their own convictions without fear of personal liability.[100]  However, while it is important to protect judges, they should not be protected when their decisions fly in the face of statutory authority.  When one acts in contention with a statute, they should be held liable for doing so, even when they have general subject-matter jurisdiction.  Otherwise, the judges who are not held accountable can taint the perception of the judicial system as a whole.[101]

           Allowing suits for violations of statutes will not erode the immunity because a plaintiff must have a statute to back up the allegation that the judge has acted in contention with his or her statutory authority.  A court will be able to determine, on the face of the complaint, whether a judge should be subject to civil suit for acting in excess of his or her statutory authority.  If the court finds judicial immunity does not apply, the judge can immediately appeal the order without having to go through a burdensome litigation process.[102]  Even if the judge is subject to suit, the plaintiff will then have to fully make his or her case before the judge is subject to civil liability.  This proposed exception to immunity would be in line with the Supreme Court’s desire not to give immunity where it is not necessary and does not affront Bradley’s concern of meddling in questions of jurisdiction because the legislature has specifically instructed the court not to act.[103]

           Narrowing judicial immunity in this way would only affect a subset of cases.  Statutes that affect jurisdiction are not common,[104] and the exception could be limited to cases where there is a widely adopted statute controlling the issue, such as the UCCJEA. To narrow the exception even further, denial of immunity could be limited to cases where the judge knows or has reason to know that a statute bars the exercise of his or her jurisdiction, as the UCCJEA did in Rockett.[105]

           Currently, judges who perform both minor and egregious misconduct are often given no more than a slap on the wrist.[106]  While there are consequences outside of monetary damages, such as impeachment or suspension from the bench, those remedies are rarely used in practice.[107]  During the course of this nation’s history, only fifteen federal judges have been impeached, and only eight have been removed from office.[108]  State judge impeachment is also rare, with only two in the last twenty-five years.[109]  Thus, while judges who perform malicious acts may be overturned on appeal, they rarely suffer consequences that will deter them from performing the same acts in the future.  

           Furthermore, people affected by judicial misconduct are not vindicated fully by an appeal.  Judge Eighmy forced the Rockett children to be detained, not once, but twice.  An appeal or, as in this case, a writ of prohibition from the Missouri Supreme Court cannot reverse the violations of constitutional rights nor the emotional damages they faced during that time.  Monetary relief may not be able to reverse the damages either, but it would “make them whole” while deterring other judges from making mistakes like the one Judge Eighmy made.[110] Eventually, if this lack of accountability continues, court officials like Judge Eighmy will begin to undermine public trust in the judicial system.  

           A judge should be on notice as to what he or she can legally do in a case before him or her and should not be able to grant himself or herself more authority than what the legislature has granted. Denying judicial immunity in cases where a statute strips a court of the ability to exercise its jurisdiction is both a reasonable and fair measure towards ensuring public trust in our judiciary.  

VI.        Conclusion

           The Eighth Circuit correctly determined that Judge Eighmy acting as a bailiff was not protected by judicial immunity, but his issuance of a pick-up order was. However, this case provides an opportunity to limit the doctrine of judicial immunity in an important way.  The Supreme Court continues to recognize the need for immunity even when a judge acts in excess of authority, but in cases like this one, the judge is not only acting in excess of authority, he or she is violating statutory authority. Judges should not be shielded from liability for this misconduct because the judicial system rests on the competence of judges and lawyers and their ability to know and apply the law.


*B.S., Truman State University, 2022; J.D. Candidate, University of Missouri School of Law, 2025; Associate Member, 2023–2024, Missouri Law Review. I would like to thank Adjunct Professor Anthony Meyer for his guidance during the process of writing this Note.

[1] Rockett ex rel. K.R. v. Eighmy, 71 F.4th 665, 667–68 (8th Cir. 2023).

[2] Id.

[3] Id. at 668.

[4] Id. at 672–73.

[5] Jeffrey M. Shaman, Judicial Immunity from Civil and Criminal Liability, 27 San Diego L. Rev. 1, 2–3 (1990).

[6] Forrester v. White, 484 U.S. 219, 225 (1988).

[7] Id. at 224.

[8] See Rockett, 71 F.4th at 665.

[9] Id. at 667.

[10] Id. at 667–68.

[11] Id. at 667.

[12] Id. at 668.

[13] Id.

[14] Id.

[15] Id.

[16] Id.

[17] Id.

[18] Id.

[19] Id.

[20] Motion for Contempt, Ballard v. Rockett, No. 07AF-CV00944-02 (8th Cir. May 11, 2020); Rockett, 71 F.4th at 668.

[21] A pickup order is a “warrant to take physical custody of a child” that is given by the court during child custody disputes. Carrie Leonetti, Detinue and Replevin: Arresting Children to Enforce Private Parenting Orders, 30 U. Miami Int’l & Comp. L. Rev. 74, 117 (2023).

[22] Rockett, 71 F.4th at 668; Rockett ex rel. K.R. v. Eighmy, No. 6:21-CV-03152-MDH, 2021 WL 5855825, at *1 (W.D. Mo. Dec. 9, 2021).  

[23] Rockett, 71 F.4th at 668; Writ of Prohibition, State ex rel. Rockett v. Eighmy, No. SC98716 (8th Cir. Nov. 19, 2020).

[24] Rockett, 71 F.4th at 668.

[25] Id.

[26] Id.

[27] Id.

[28] Id. at 672.

[29] Id. at 672–73.

[30] Shaman, supra note 5, at 2–3.

[31] See Floyd v. Barker, 77 Eng. Rep. 1305 (Star Chamber 1607).

[32] J. Randolph Block, Stump v. Sparkman and the History of Judicial Immunity, 1980 Duke L. J. 879, 898–99 (1980); see Randall v. Brigham, 74 U.S. 523 (1868).

[33] Block, supra note 32, at 880.

[34] Id. at 881.

[35] Shaman, supra note 5, at 3.

[36] Bradley v. Fisher, 80 U.S. 335, 347 (1871).

[37] Id.  

[38] See id. at 347–48 (extending judicial immunity to acts that were malicious or erroneous in nature); see also Stump v. Sparkman,  435 U.S. 349, 360 (1978) (holding that informality of the action does not make it any less of a judicial act); see also Pulliam v. Allen, 466 U.S. 522, 527–28 (1984) (holding that judicial immunity bars monetary relief but not injunctive relief nor a grant of attorney’s fees where Congress has allowed recovery of such fees); see generally Randall v. Brigham, 74 U.S. 523 (1868).

[39] Randall, 74 U.S. at 526.

[40] Bradley, 80 U.S. at 336; Stump, 435 U.S. at 355–56.

[41] Bradley, 80 U.S. at 348; Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 11 (1991).

[42] Mireles, 502 U.S. at 11–12.

[43] Id.  

[44] Bradley, 80 U.S. at 353.

[45] See id.

[46] Forrester v. White, 484 U.S. 219, 224–27 (1988).

[47] Id. at 224.

[48] Id. at 227.

[49] Id.  

[50] Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 362 (1978).

[51] Id. at 360 (holding that the judge’s act was a judicial act even though the petition for sterilization had no docket number, was not filed, and was approved in an ex parte proceeding); see also McAlester v. Brown, 469 F.2d 1280, 1282 (5th Cir. 1972) (holding that a judge was acting in his judicial capacity despite not being in his robes nor in the courtroom itself).

[52] Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 12–13 (1991).

[53] Bradley v. Fisher, 80 U.S. 335, 337–38 (1871).

[54] Id. at 337.

[55] Id. at 339–40.

[56] Id. at 337–38.

[57] Id. at 346–47.

[58] Liles v. Reagan, 804 F.2d 493, 495 (8th Cir. 1986). 

[59] McAlester v. Brown, 469 F.2d 1280, 1281–82 (5th Cir. 972).

[60] Gregory v. Thompson, 500 F.2d 59, 61, 65 (9th Cir. 1974).

[61] Gross v. Rell, 585 F.3d 72, 84 (2nd Cir. 2009).

[62] Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 11–12 (1991).

[63] Bradley v. Fisher, 80 U.S. 335, 351 (1871) (“A distinction must be here observed between excess of jurisdiction and the clear absence of all jurisdiction over the subject-matter.”).

[64] Hightower v. Myers, 304 S.W.3d 727, 733 (Mo. 2010) (en banc) (“The circuit court’s statutory or common law authority to grant relief in a particular case differs from [it]’s constitutionally granted subject[-]matter and personal jurisdiction”).

[65] Bradley, 80 U.S. at 352.

[66] Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 356 (1978).

[67] Bradley, 80 U.S. at 352.

[68] Stump, 435 U.S. at 356 (“The Court of Appeals correctly recognized that the necessary inquiry in determining whether a defendant judge is immune from suit is whether at the time he took the challenged action he had jurisdiction over the subject matter before him.”).

[69] David Pimentel, The Reluctant Tattletale: Closing the Gap in Federal Judicial Discipline, 76 Tenn. L. Rev. 909, 914 (2009). See 28 U.S.C. §§ 351–364.

[70] Pimentel, supra note 69, at 914.

[71] Id. at 915.

[72] Id. at 916–17.

[73] Id. at 917.

[74] Id. at 918–19.

[75] Michael Berens & John Shiffman, Thousands of U.S. Judges Who Broke Laws or Oaths Remained on the Bench, Reuters Investigates (June 30, 2020),

[76] Id. Additionally, there were over 3,000 other cases where the discipline was private, so the judge’s name was not publicized. Id.

[77] Id.

[78] Christina Majaski, Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, LawInfo (Nov. 26, 2023), 

[79] Id.

[80] See Mo. Rev. Stat. § 452.740.

[81] Id. § 452.740.1(1). There are exceptions to this general rule for emergency situations. See id. § 452.755.

[82] Id. § 452.740.1(1).

[83] Id. § 452.740.1(2). To determine what court is the most appropriate, Section 452.770 and Section 452.775 govern. Id. § 452.740.1(2).

[84] Id. § 452.740.1(2).

[85] Id. § 452.740.1.

[86] See In re Miller, 196 S.W.3d 683, 689 (Mo. Ct. App. 2006) (“A trial court’s jurisdiction under the UCCJA to hear custody matters is described as ‘subject[-]matter jurisdiction,’ . . . .”). The UCCJA (Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act) was the predecessor to the UCCJEA. Majaski, supra note 78.

[87] 304 S.W.3d 727 (Mo. 2010) (en banc).

[88] Id. at 733.

[89] Rockett ex rel. K.R. v. Eighmy, 71 F.4th 665, 673 (8th Cir. 2023).

[90] Id. at 672–73.

[91] Id. at 671.

[92] Id. at 671–72.

[93] Id. at 671.

[94] Id. at 672.

[95] Id.

[96] Id. at 673.

[97] Id.

[98] Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 12 (1991); Rockett, 71 F.4th at 673.

[99] Rockett, 71 F.4th at 673.

[100] Mireles, 502 U.S. at 10 (“[U]nfairness and injustice to a litigant may result on occasion, ‘it is a general principle of the highest importance . . . that a judicial officer, in exercising the authority bested in him, shall be free to act upon his own convictions . . . .’”) (quoting Bradley v. Fisher, 80 U.S. 335, 347 (1871)).

[101] Michael Berens & John Shiffman, Thousands of U.S. Judges Who Broke Laws or Oaths Remained on the Bench, Reuters Investigates (June 30, 2020), (“Judicial misconduct specialists say such behavior has the potential to erode trust in America’s courts and, absent tough consequences, could give judges license to behave with impunity.”); David Pimentel, The Reluctant Tattletale: Closing the Gap in Federal Judicial Discipline, 76 Tenn. L. Rev. 909, 913 (2009) (“Dissatisfaction with the courts. . . has much to do with the public’s confidence in the judiciary.”).

[102] See Nixon v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 731, 742 (1982) (“At least twice before this Court has held that orders denying claims of absolute immunity are appealable under the Cohen criteria.”) (citing Helstoski v. Meanor, 442 U.S. 500 (1979); Abney v. United States, 431 U.S. 651 (1977)).

[103] In Bradley, the court recognized that the amount of jurisdiction a judge has is usually a common question for the judge to decide. Bradley v. Fisher, 80 U.S. 335, 352 (1871).

[104] See Tara Leigh Grove, The Article II Safeguards of Federal Jurisdiction, 112 Colum. L. Rev. 250, 253 (2012) (“Although most jurisdiction-stripping bills have been defeated in the legislative process, some. . . captured sufficient political support to gain the assent of both Congress and the President.”).

[105] See Mo. Rev. Stat. §452.740.1(2).

[106] See Michael Berens & John Shiffman, Thousands of U.S. Judges Who Broke Laws or Oaths Remained on the Bench, Reuters Investigates (June 30, 2020),

[107] See Douglas Keith, Impeachment and Removal of Judges: An Explainer, Brennan Center for Justice (March 23, 2018), dges%20is%20rare,by%20convictions%20in%20the%20Senate.

[108] Id.

[109] Id.

[110] Kincaid Enterprises, Inc. v. Porter, 812 S.W.2d 892, 900 (Mo. Ct. App. 1991) (“The purpose of an award of damages is to make the injured person whole by money compensation.”).