Court Says Party Committees Can Make Gender Distinction

Jefferson City, Mo. – A man cannot be a woman when it comes to politics. That's the upshot of a decision Tuesday by the Missouri Supreme Court.

In a unanimous ruling, the court upheld a Missouri law requiring men and women seeking to serve on county political organizations to run for separate committeemen and committeewoman positions.

The case was brought by St. Louis County resident Christian Tompras. He tried this spring to file as Republican Party committeewoman and was rejected.

Tompras claimed that the state constitution prohibits sexual discrimination for holding offices.

The Supreme Court said that equal protection claim was outweighed by the political parties' First Amendment freedom of association rights.