Missouri Supreme Court Sides Constitutionally with Parson’s Power to Appoint Lieutenant Governor

The Missouri Republican Party released this statement regarding the Missouri Supreme Court’s decision today that the Governor has the authority to appoint a Lt. Governor in the event of a vacancy.

“Missouri’s constitution is clear regarding the authority to make gubernatorial appointments. It’s important that Missouri have all of the statewide offices filled which work to provide stability and ensure that all Missourians are being served appropriately,” commented Governor Mike Parson.

Further, he added, “The Lt. Governor is an important office, and I applaud the Missouri Supreme Court’s decision today which confirms the position, as well as the position of previous Governors from both parties, that the Governor does indeed have the authority to appoint a Lt. Governor in the event of a vacancy.”

The court determined it was within the Governor’s constitutional authority to appoint then-Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe to the position in June of last year.

Appellants Missouri Democratic Party and Darrell Cope argued that this action is an electoral disadvantage to those living within the State of Missouri. The petition also alleges taxpayer dollars are used to fund the Office of Lieutenant Governor, thus granting a right to litigate and the right to an appeal.

The opinion stated, “Private citizens lack the authority to seek the removal of a public official through litigation and that the Governor of Missouri has the authority to appoint a Lieutenant Governor in the event of a vacancy.”

The Supreme Court cites Missouri’s Constitution which explicitly states, “The governor shall fill all vacancies in public offices unless otherwise provided by law, and his appointees shall serve until their successors are duly elected or appointed and qualified.”

The appeal was argued in November of 2018 at the Missouri Supreme Court.

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