Wed May 16, 2012
Judge: Nasheed must be removed from state Senate ticket
Updated 4:32 p.m. with statement from Nasheed.
Mo. State Rep. Jamilah Nasheed announced her run against incumbent State Sen. Robin Wright-Jones in January - but now it seems Nasheed may be leaving the ticket, at a judge's orders.
In a decision handed down today, St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Joan Moriarty ruled that Nasheed is ineligible to run for the state Senate spot due to residency requirements. (You can also read the full decision below)
The lawsuit, filed by Nasheed's would-be Democratic primary opponent in St. Louis' Fifth District, Wright-Jones, asserts that because Nasheed does not live in the district she wishes to represent, she cannot represent the district. This assertion is in line with the Missouri Constitution.
However, the exception is when a district has been redrawn, as the Fifth District has. Nasheed lives in the Fourth District, but, because a portion of the Fourth has been redrawn to create the new Fifth, Nasheed thought she could file to run in the Fifth, setting up the primary match with incumbent Wright-Jones.
Nasheed issued the following statement in response to today's decision:
"Today's preliminary ruling is disappointing, but not dispiriting. While my team and I maintain that Robin Wright-Jones' suit lacks both merit and precedence, we always expected the case would end up before the Supreme Court because of the constitutional interpretations it involves. Now that Judge Moriarty has clarified which side must appeal her decision, my team and I plan to file our petition by the end of the week and are completely confident that we will receive an expedited ruling from the court of appeals in our favor.
Indeed, the fact that a St. Louis County Court issued a contradictory claim against this very same attorney, on this very same issue, earlier this very same week, highlights the tenuous foundation on which Robin Wright-Jones has staked her candidacy. Time and again, my opponents' tenure in office has been marked by distractions and disturbances. This court case is no different. St. Louis needs real solutions and real leadership. That's why I look forward to continuing
my campaign to bring a fresh start for our city in the state senate."
The decision could impact other legislative races across the state faced with similar residency situations.