Aside from Medicaid expansion, the most talked-about issue so far during the just-begun Missouri legislative session is whether Governor Jay Nixon (D) has the authority to appoint a new Lt. Governor if Peter Kinder succeeds fellow Republican Jo Ann Emerson in Congress.
Following his annual Prayer Breakfast earlier today, Governor Nixon told reporters he believes he has the authority to appoint a new Lt. Governor if the office suddenly becomes vacant.
The Cape Girardeau Republican fended off a challenge from former State Auditor, Democrat Susan Montee. She called Kinder shortly before 11:00 p.m. to concede the race and congratulate Kinder. He celebrated his victory with a small gathering of supporters, about 30 in all, at a hotel in Creve Cour. He credits what he calls "grass-roots" campaigning for his victory this time around.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the Republican Lt. Governor has no legal standing to file suit because the Affordable Care Act poses no immediate threat to Kinder’s legally protected interests. He filed suit two years ago as an individual, not in his official capacity as Lt. Governor. The three-judge panel’s ruling did not address the constitutionality of the federal health care law, most of which was upheld last year in a 5-4 ruling by the U-S Supreme Court.