Honorable Nannette A. Baker, United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Missouri, retired from the Court on February 3, 2023. Judge Baker is a 1994 graduate from St. Louis University School of Law. She began her judicial service in 1999 as a Circuit Judge in St. Louis City and was the first African American woman to serve as Chief Judge of the Missouri Court of Appeals in 2008. She was appointed to the federal court in 2011.
The retirement created a Magistrate Judge position that was filled on February 6, 2023, with the swearing-in of Judge Rodney H. Holmes, a 1997 graduate of Saint Louis University School of Law. He served since 2015 as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) for the Eastern District of Missouri. Prior to becoming an AUSA, Judge Holmes worked in private practice from 2004-2015 handling a variety of matters, including federal criminal cases as a member of the Court’s Criminal Justice Act (CJA) panel. He was a Research and Writing Attorney for the Federal Public Defender for Eastern Missouri from 1997-2002 and an AUSA from 2002-2004 before going into private practice.
Chief Judge Stephen R. Clark thanked Judge Baker for her years of service, noting her service as Chief Magistrate Judge for the District and her service as the Magistrate Judge observer to the Judicial Conference of the United States. “Judge Baker is a legal giant, a civic giant, and a pioneer. This District and our entire system are indebted to her for her service.” Chief Judge Clark also welcomed Judge Holmes, saying “Judge Holmes brings a wealth of experience as an Assistant Federal Defender, an Assistant United States Attorney, and as a civil practitioner. His well-rounded background will serve him and this District well in his new role.”
The term of office of a magistrate judge is eight years, with the opportunity to renew the appointment for additional terms.