Thursday, June 30, 2016

Peters v. Johns

Opinion handed down May 20, 2016 
            In Peters v. Johns, the Supreme Court of Missouri resolved the constitutionality of requiring a state representative candidate to register in Missouri for at least two years to be eligible for election.[1] The court ruled with a 4-3 margin that the refusal to register is not an act of “symbolic speech,” and that the requirement does not violate either the First or Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.[2]

McGraw v. State

Opinion handed down May 24, 2016

Holding the title of “Honorable,” “Justice,” or “Judge,” might enable one to believe that an elected judge is paid commensurate with the noble title.  In reality, however, this is not the case.  Members of the Supreme Court of Missouri, the highest court in the state, are only paid a fraction more than some first year associates at large law firms.[1]  However, in a decision handed down by the Supreme Court of Missouri in May 2016, the court matter-of-factly denied elected judges their extra retirement compensation as prescribed to them by means of the Missouri Constitution.[2]  Lacking any type of policy argument, the court struck down the plaintiff-judges’ claims because their arguments relied on an incorrect interpretation of an amendment to the Missouri Constitution.[3]