Missouri Supreme Court

(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.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

The Missouri Supreme Court is deciding whether the Webster Groves school district must enroll a student from the city of St. Louis.

The court heard arguments Wednesday on a case related to Missouri law that allows students from unaccredited districts to transfer to accredited districts. State lawmakers are also considering how to implement or revise the law. Three school systems in St. Louis and Kansas City are unaccredited. 

The Missouri Supreme Court has struck down a 2010 ethics law that took a long and twisted path to its final form.

(Missouri Senate)

The congressional redistricting map passed last year by Missouri lawmakers has been upheld by a Cole County judge.

Following a three-day court battle, Circuit Judge Daniel Green ruled late Friday that the districts in the so-called Grand Compromise Map do comply with the state constitution’s requirement that congressional districts be “as compact as may be.”  Gerry Greiman, one of the plaintiff’s attorneys, disagrees.

Opponents of new Missouri House districts are taking their legal challenge to a trial court after being turned down by the state Supreme Court.

A lawsuit challenging state House districts was filed Friday in Cole County. Its filing was expected after the state high court on Thursday declined a request to strike down the House map but permitted the case to be filed in a trial court.

The Missouri Supreme Court is declining to weigh in on the constitutionality of new state House districts - at least for now.

The high court had been asked in a lawsuit to block a new map for the 163-member House from being used in this year's elections.

The plaintiffs contend the new maps violate requirements that districts have similar populations and be contiguous and compact.

(via Flickr/s_falkow)
  • Listen to the oral arguments before the Missouri Supreme Court in this case

Missouri’s public defenders have argued for years that they have too many cases.

So in 2010 the public defender commission put a plan in place that allowed each of its districts to stop taking cases when its attorneys became too busy.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

One day after Governor Jay Nixon (D) made his State of the State Address, the annual State of the Judiciary Address was delivered to Missouri lawmakers today.

Chief Justice Rick Teitelman kept his speech short, but did call for the General Assembly to pass changes to the state’s probation and parole system in order to ease Missouri’s prison population.

“I support your effort to help make sentencing practices more cost effective, helping Missouri to become, as Judge (former Chief Justice William) Price stressed so often and so eloquently, both tough and smart.”

(via Flickr/david_shane)

Updated 5:21 p.m. with Gov. Nixon asking for nominees for new citizens commission

The Missouri Supreme Court has struck down new state Senate districts and ordered a further legal review of new U.S. House districts.

The rulings Tuesday add fresh uncertainty for the 2012 election year, just weeks before candidates are to begin filing for office.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The legal battle over Missouri’s new congressional map resumed today. 

The State Supreme Court heard arguments over whether the so-called “Grand Compromise Map” fails to meet the State Constitution’s compactness requirement.  Attorney Gerry Greiman argued for the plaintiffs in one of two lawsuits against the map.  He says like-minded people should be joined together in the same district.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Mayer hopes federal health care law among first debated in Mo. Senate this year

M.L. Fuller (Image 336)/USGS

Mo. schools and residents to prepare for next big earthquake

It was nearly 200 years ago that the first in a series of massive earthquakes shook Missouri and much of the nation. Now, several Missouri school districts will take part in a drill to prepare for the next big one.

State officials say that nearly 100 districts and individual schools have registered for Missouri's second statewide earthquake drill at 10:15 a.m. on Feb. 7. Meanwhile, more than 146,000 residents are also registered for the drill, called the "Great Central U.S. ShakeOut."

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

Updated 9:18 a.m. Dec. 14:

As we mentioned Tuesday morning, the Missouri Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday on whether the state's public defenders can turn away cases.

Flickr/david-shane

Mo. Supreme Court to hear arguments in public defender case

A case that could decide how Missouri public defenders deal with case overload will be heard by the state's Supreme Court today. In July 2010 the public defender office in Christian County announced it had reached its case threshold and could take no more cases. The next month a judge assigned an indigent defendant to that office anyway and the public defender system filed suit.

St. Louis University law professor Susan McGraugh says the high court's decision could have a big impact.

(via Flickr/David_Shane)

The Supreme Court of Missouri has rejected a constitutional challenge to a 2010 law that put strict limits on the way businesses like strip clubs and adult bookstores can operate in the state.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) says she is “glad” the Supreme Court will hear arguments over President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

The Missouri Supreme Court is trying to decide what portions - if any - of a wide-ranging 2010 ethics law should be allowed to stand.

(Mo. Supreme Court)

After three finalists were announced in September, Missouri now has a new Supreme Court judge. George W. Draper III, currently a judge in the Eastern District Court of Appeals, has been selected by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) for the job, in an announcement released today.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of new restrictions on strip clubs, adult video stores, and other adult businesses.

(via Wikimedia Commons/FEMA Photo Library)

St. Louis County to test new warning system on Mon.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the county will test the new $7 million warning siren system at 11 a.m. Monday. The county's emergency operations center will monitor closely to make sure the 180 speakers work properly.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

A special commission that nominates candidates for the Missouri Supreme Court has given Gov. Jay Nixon the choice of an attorney, a trial judge or an appeals court judge to fill a vacancy.

The three finalists announced Thursday for the state's highest court are:

(St. Louis Public Radio)

In March, the Missouri Supreme Court heard a case regarding the constitutionality of a state tax credit which, as we stated then, enabled St. Louis developer Paul McKee to buy up several tracts of land on the city’s north side.

At that time, McKee had received $28 million in tax credits for his NorthSide project and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay signed off on the project in February.

Today, the Missouri Supreme Court said that the tax credit is, indeed, constitutional.

When the case was heard in March, attorney Irene Smith, who represents plaintiffs and North St. Louis residents Barbara Manzara and Keith Marquard,  said that the tax credit violates the state constitution by giving state tax dollars to private business interests.

The Supreme Court cited a couple different reasons for their decision.

The Supreme Court of Missouri
via Flickr | david_shane

Thirteen people have submitted applications to fill a soon-to-be-open seat on the Missouri Supreme Court.

The three women and 10 men are vying for the seat of Judge Michael Wolff, who will retire August 11th. They are:

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

William Ray Price Jr.’s two-year term as Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court ends today.

He spent his last full day in charge talking to reporters about several topics, including the need to fund the state’s drug courts.  Price says that drugs are the “leading, driving force” behind crime nationwide.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments today over the constitutionality of a state tax credit which has enabled St. Louis developer Paul McKee to buy up several tracts of land on the city’s north side.

McKee has so far received $28 million in tax credits for his NorthSide development project.

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