Thursday, March 27, 2008

Update on the Legal Battle for a Fair Ballot Summary

Yesterday, a panel of three judges from the Western District Court of Appeals heard the oral arguments regarding the Secretary of State's appeal of the Circuit Court ruling that her ballot summary was "unfair and insufficient". The oral arguments are the final step presenting both sides of the case to the court. Prior to yesterday's hearing, several hundred pages of "briefs" have been filed with the court from both sides. At this point, we have no indication of when the court will rule on the case. We will, of course, notify you immediately when a decision is reached.

We believe that no matter how many irrelevant side issues the cloners try to raise, the court cannot deny the basic facts as stated by our lead attorney, Eddie Greim. Eddie argued that Carnahan's summary improperly includes policy and social claims and more importantly does not include the central purpose of the proposed amendment, which is to ban human embryonic cloning.
"The statement really missed the legal core of this proposal," Greim said in an interview after the hearing. "Instead it made predictions and policy arguments and various other types of claims that don't belong in a summary statement." ("Missouri appeals court looks at stem cell ballot" by Margaret Stafford/AP Columbia Missourian, March 26, 2008)
Sitting in the courtroom for both the circuit court and court of appeals hearings, I cannot help but wonder how many taxpayer dollars have been spent by the Attorney General's office to defend the malfeasance of the Secretary of State. Clearly, Robin Carnahan's abuse of power has cost us, as Missouri citizens, in legal fees and time wasted and then we are also paying with our tax dollars for her defense!

What NOW?

Because we have such a large and wide spread volunteer army of circulators, we have opted to wait for the Court of Appeals ruling before circulating petitions. If the appeals court were to change even one word then we would have to reprint and distribute over 150,000 petitions while insuring the original petitions were destroyed. That challenge would be greater than working within a tight timeframe.

There is still a great deal of work to be done as we prepare. We continue to recruit and train volunteer circulators and coordinators across the state. If you have yet to be trained - we need you. Click here to volunteer today!

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