Last Friday, the Missouri Supreme Court declined to review a Western District Court decision that has delayed the ACLU from collecting signatures for a referendum on HB 126, the Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act. A referendum would place HB 126 on the general election ballot and allow citizens to decide whether to keep or reject the law.
Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft had previously rejected the ACLU's petition due to the fact that a portion of HB 126 contained an emergency clause, and the Missouri Constitution prohibits referendum votes on "laws necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety." As a result of a legal challenge by the ACLU, the Western District Court of Appeals ruled last week that Ashcroft had improperly rejected the ACLU's petition. However, as part of that ruling, the appellate court stated that it could not force the Secretary of State to certify the petition by July 18, as had been requested by the ACLU.
The ACLU had pushed for the July 18th deadline to give the group time to collect the required number of signatures. Under the current court ruling, the ACLU cannot begin to collect signatures until the Secretary of State certifies the ballot language, which could be as late as August 14. That would give the ACLU two weeks to collect the roughly 100,000 signatures needed to place HB 126 on the ballot.
July 22, 2019 - 7:38am