Jon Beetem | St. Louis Public Radio

Jon Beetem

s_falkow | Flickr

A Cole County judge has upheld a ballot summary prepared by Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) for a proposed constitutional amendment that would expand the governor’s role in appointing State Supreme Court judges.

The ballot language for Amendment 3 asks:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to change the current nonpartisan selection of supreme court and court of appeals judges to a process that gives the governor increased authority to:

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

A Missouri judge has struck down the State Auditor's authority to prepare financial estimates for ballot initiatives.

The ruling by Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem comes in a challenge to a proposed tobacco tax initiative for which supporters are not gathering signatures. But attorneys who specialize in initiative petitions say the ruling ultimately could affect other initiatives.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 3, 2008 - A Missouri judge refused on Wednesday to stop the state from spending $21 million for life sciences research.  Opponents of stem cell research -- represented by Ed Martin, the former chief of staff to Gov. Matt Blunt -- had sought an emergency order to block the spending.