IP Cases Against SOS Ballot Language Update-July 26, 2023

July 26, 2023 – IP COURT UPDATES
On Wednesday, July 26, 2023, case numbers 23AC-CC04022, 23AC-CC03167, and AC-CC03953 – ANNA FITZ-JAMES V JOHN R ASHCROFT, (the cases from the pro-abortion side arguing that the Secretary of State’s ballot language is misleading) were heard in the Cole County Circuit Court, the Honorable Judge Jon E. Beetem, presiding. The defendant (SOS’s) attorney Lewis presented an argument to dismiss these cases. The Court found that because the Secretary of State had not yet certified the ballot language for the initiative petition, these three cases were not filed within the statutorily required ten days following certification and the cases were “not ripe” (were prematurely filed). After the Missouri Supreme Court ruling last week, and the subsequent moving of the fiscal note to the Secretary of State, it was expected the Secretary of State would certify the ballot language by the end of the day, July 26, 2023. Judge Beetem ordered leave granted for the petitioners to file an amended petition after the Secretary of State certifies the ballot language. The Judge set a status hearing for August 3, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. to hear from both sides and will schedule a trial date at that time.

After the Secretary of State certified the ballot language yesterday, the petitioners were expected to refile an amended petition that encompasses the three cases referenced above and would file three additional cases.

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