Missouri Supreme Court

(via Flickr/david_shane)

The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that not only must public bodies like school boards and cities collectively bargain with their employee unions, but that bargaining must be done in good faith.

The Court issued two rulings Tuesday - one dealing with unionized teachers at a St. Louis charter school, and the other dealing with police officers in University City and Chesterfield who wanted to unionize.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

A four-year legal struggle over whether Missouri’s home care workers can unionize is finally over.

The Missouri Supreme Court has chosen to let stand the most recent ruling surrounding the results of a 2010 election, in which a majority of home care workers voted to form a labor union.  A circuit court judge had blocked the state from certifying the election results, but the Court of Appeals for the Western District reversed that decision.  The High Court’s decision to take no further action means that home care workers can begin negotiations on a union contract with the state.

Andrew Wamboldt/KOMU News - via Flickr

The Missouri Supreme Court will decide whether the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District can charge for stormwater service based on how much water a property absorbs.  

The decision extends a nearly four-year-old legal battle over the agency’s so-called "impervious fee." Two lower courts have ruled that it was not a fee at all, but a tax – and therefore had to be approved by voters under the Hancock Amednment.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

The Appellate Judicial Commission has announced the nominees to fill a vacancy on the Missouri Supreme Court. The nominees are Mike Manners, Stan Wallach and Paul Wilson.

According to a press release, Manners is a circuit judge in the 16th Judicial Circuit in Jackson County. He earned his law degree in 1976 from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. He lives in Lee's Summit.

Wallach is a St. Louis attorney at the Wallach Law Firm. He earned his law degree in 1992 from the University of Chicago Law School. He lives in Kirkwood, Mo.

seannaber | Flickr

The Missouri Supreme Court will not hear a legal challenge to Springfield's smoking ban, officially ending a lawsuit filed by a bar owner.
Attorney Jonathan Sternberg says the state Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a legal challenge by Jean Doublin, owner of Ruthie's Bar in Springfield.
In June, an appeals court rejected Sternberg's argument that the Springfield law conflicts with the state's clean air act. He says a provision in the state law allows smoking in bars and taverns, which overrides the Springfield law.

breahn / Flickr

A life sciences jobs bill signed into law last year but blocked this year was heard today by the Missouri Supreme Court.

The Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act, or MOSIRA, would use a funding mechanism to draw more high-tech jobs to Missouri.  Known then as Senate Bill 7, it included language tying its passage to that of a tax credit bill (Senate Bill 8), which did not pass during the 2011 special legislative sessionGovernor Jay Nixon (D) signed the MOSIRA bill, anyway, but Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green (R) ruled it unconstitutional in February because of the language tying it to the dead bill.  Solicitor General Jim Layton argued for the state before the High Court, saying that the MOSIRA bill can be legally severed from the other bill.

(Tim Bommel / Mo. House Communications office)

Judge William Ray Price, Jr. served on the Missouri Supreme Court for 20 years including two terms as chief justice.

Price left the high court earlier this month to return to private practice.

During his time on the Supreme Court, Price was a staunch supporter of Missouri’s drug courts and argued the state puts too many non-violent offenders in prison.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Maria Altman spoke with the judge about why it’s important to seek alternatives to prison and other issues facing Missouri courts.

(via Wikimedia Commons/Noahudlis)

Updated 6:03 p.m. with reaction 

The Missouri Supreme Court will not set execution dates for six death row inmates until a court case over the state's new execution protocol is resolved.

The Supreme Court of Missouri
via Flickr | david_shane

Well, the Missouri Supreme Court has certainly done its part for the news cycle today with an array of decisions.

Here's a quick taste of what happened, and links to our separate stories so you can dig in to find out more about each.

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The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that a judge should not have appointed a public defender to a client after the public defenders alerted the courts they had too many cases.

The court handed down the 4-3 decision Tuesday.

The case goes back to July 2010 when a Christian County judge appointed a public defender despite their "limited availability" status.

Christian County prosecutor Amy Fite says it’s hard on victims and defendants when cases are held up.

(via Flickr/Jennifer_Boriss)

Updated 4:33 p.m. with reporting by KCUR's Elana Gordon.

Missouri’s Supreme Court has effectively overturned state caps on non-economic damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice cases.  The court ruled today in favor of Deborah Watts, who filed suit against Cox Medical Centers in Springfield for injuries her son suffered at birth in 2006.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to the authority of the state auditor to write financial summaries for ballot initiatives.

The Supreme Court of Missouri
via Flickr | david_shane

Judge William Ray Price, Jr. vacates the Missouri Supreme Court effective Aug. 1, so someone will need to replace him.

Today, the the Appellate Judicial Commission released the names and demographic information of those vying for the position. 

Interviews will begin Oct. 10, and from these 18 applicants, the Commission will select three people to recommend to Gov. Nixon. The public is allowed to view the interviews in October.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Court upholds election for earnings tax

The Missouri Supreme Court has rejected a legal challenge to a law that requires residents in St. Louis and Kansas City to vote on their earnings tax every five years.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Six lawsuits involving three ballot initiatives were heard Monday by the Missouri Supreme Court.

At stake are ballot questions that would raise Missouri’s cigarette tax, raise the minimum wage to $8.25 an hour, and cap interest rates on payday loans.  The fate of all three may turn on whether the State Auditor has the authority to estimate the financial impact of citizens’ petition initiatives.  Attorney Ronald Holliger argued that the High Court should uphold a lower court ruling supporting the State Auditor’s authority.

With the United States Supreme Court's decision on healthcare expected to come on Thursday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon broke with his party on Monday over a key part of the legislation.

Speaking with reporters in St. Louis, Governor Nixon sounded more like a Republican when asked about the impending decision.

Referring to the Affordable Care Act as the “Washington Healthcare Law” Nixon spoke out against the key ingredient of President Obama’s signature legislation—the so-called individual mandate requiring people to purchase health insurance.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Mo. Supreme Court to decide fate of November ballot initiatives

The Missouri Supreme Court will hear arguments this morning to determine the fate of several ballot initiatives.

Election officials still have yet to determine if supporters of increasing the minimum wage and tobacco tax, and capping the rate of payday loans, have gathered enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

Updated 4:34 p.m. with comments from Rep. Sylvester Taylor. 

Usually, the residency requirement for political candidates is just another box to check, but two cases involving St. Louis-area office-seekers have not been so clearly defined - until today.

Will be updated.

Updated 4:42 with Price's full resignation letter.

Updated 4:10 p.m. statement from Gov. Nixon

Missouri Supreme Court Judge William Ray Price, Jr. is to resign, according to Supreme Court Communications Counsel Beth Riggert.

The resignation will become effective Aug. 1. Price says he will return to the private practice of law.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

Updated 4:04 p.m. with Diehl's comments.

The Missouri Supreme Court has released its judgment on a challenge to the recent redistricting of the state's new Congressional districts. 

The Court has upheld the new districts, finally providing certainty for candidates in the August primary elections.

Monday's "St. Louis on the Air" will cover the pressing legal issues of the day.
s_falkow | Flickr

Updated 4: 14 p.m.

Missouri senators have endorsed changes in the procedure for nominating candidates for the state Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.

A seven-member commission screens applicants for vacancies on the state's high court and the three districts of the Court of Appeals. The panel recommends three finalists, from which the governor makes the appointment.

The commission is currently made up of a judge, three lawyers and three people selected by the governor.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt/file photo)

The Missouri Supreme Court has refused to overturn the conviction of Kenneth Baumruk, who was sentenced to die for killing his wife and wounding four others in a 1992 St. Louis County Courthouse shooting rampage.

It wasn't clear if the Missouri Attorney General's office would seek an execution date following the ruling on Tuesday. A spokeswoman declined comment. Baumruk's attorney did not return a message seeking comment.

At 73, Baumruk is the oldest man on Missouri's Death Row.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

Will be updated.

The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld new boundaries for state House districts based upon the 2010 census.

The high court issued a one-line ruling Tuesday upholding the new districts and saying a longer opinion would be issued sometime in the future. The ruling came about three hours before Tuesday's 5 p.m. deadline for candidates to file for this year's elections.

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The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that the Webster Groves School District in suburban St. Louis County does not have to admit a student from the unaccredited St. Louis Public Schools.

Tuesday's ruling also sent the case - King-Willmann v. Webster Groves School District - back to the trial court, saying "contested issues of fact" had not been resolved.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in a lawsuit challenging the new State House redistricting map.

The map’s opponents raised similar objections as those who’ve challenged the congressional and State Senate district maps drawn up last year:  Like the Senate map, plaintiffs claimed, in written statements, that the six-judge panel that drew up the House map did so behind closed doors and thus violated the state’s Sunshine law.  Robert Hess, one of the attorneys defending the map, said the panel was not subject to the Sunshine law.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

Missouri's Supreme Court judges will hear arguments this afternoon in a legal challenge to the new districts for the state House of Representatives.

The suit argues that the new map, which was drawn by a judicial commission, creates districts that are not as compact and equal in population as they should be.

(Mo. Office of Administration)

A tentative agreement has been reached on a new redistricting map for the Missouri Senate.

A bipartisan commission appointed by Governor Jay Nixon (D) to draw a new map negotiated for more than 13 hours Wednesday, and reached a consensus after 12:00 this morning.  The "Tentative Plan" map can be viewed here.  Marc Ellinger is the top Republican on the 10-person commission.

(Missouri Senate)

Two lawsuits challenging Missouri’s new congressional district map have been heard for a second time by the State Supreme Court.  The cases returned to the High Court after the map was upheld two weeks ago by a Cole County Circuit judge.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs continued their arguments that the districts drawn on the so-called Grand Compromise Map fails the state constitution’s compactness requirement.  Attorney Jamie Barker Landes criticized the new 5th District, which lumps three rural GOP-leaning counties with urban Jackson County, while also adding a slice of metro Kansas City onto the rural northern Missouri 6th District.

(via Flickr/hlkljgk)

The Missouri Senate has unanimously passed legislation to move the filing period for the state’s party primaries back by one month.

The bill is moving rapidly because the filing period is currently set to begin February 28th and end March 27th, and because of the lack of new State House and Senate district maps.  The Missouri Supreme Court tossed out the Senate map, which now has to be redrawn, and a legal challenge to the new House map is also being appealed to the High Court.  Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) says those facts alone make it necessary to push back the filing period.

Joseph Leahy/SLPRnews

Police budget cuts 50 officers through attrition

St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom's budget proposal calls for cutting 50 officers through attrition, not layoffs. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Isom presented the budget Wednesday to the Board of Police Commissioners.

The department is faced with a $3.8 million shortfall. The city allocated $168 million to the department - a 3 percent increase over last year. But pension costs came in $5 million higher than anticipated.