Missouri AG Bailey overruled by state's Supreme Court on abortion initiative

 July 22, 2023

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey hit a legal snag this week after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), on behalf of the plaintiff, scored a victory against his efforts to keep a pro-abortion initiative off the ballot. 

The ballot measure would allow Missouri residents to vote on whether or not to make abortion legal, according to The Hill.

The state's Supreme Court stepped in, accusing Bailey of using "misleading" and "incorrect" arguments to "justify delaying his approval of the cost estimates ballot measure that would allow residents to vote on whether to legalize abortion, a crucial step in the certification process," The Hill reported.

The plaintiff in the case complained that the process has taken far too long, and has prevented activists from seeking signatures to start the process of having the measure on the ballot for the next election.

What's going on?

Plaintiff Anna Fitz-James enlisted the ACLU to help fight the Missouri AG on her behalf.

The judges sided with Fitz-James and the ACLU, claiming that the process of gaining signatures for the ballot measure have been "obstructed" by AG Bailey's actions.

Bailey had refused to approve the estimates that would have certified the ballot initiative early on.

"Until the official ballot title is certified – a critical step being held up solely by the Attorney General’s unjustified refusal to act – Fitz-James cannot challenge that title in circuit court or circulate her petitions," the judges wrote.

They added: "Fitz-James’s constitutional right of initiative petition is being obstructed, and the deadline for submitting signed petitions draws nearer every day."

ACLU responds

Luz María Henríquez, the group’s executive director, issued a celebratory statement regarding the state Supreme Court's ruling in favor of the ACLU's client.

"While today is a tremendous victory for Missourians and the right to direct democracy, it is clear that some who hold office will not hesitate to trample the constitution if it advances their personal interests and political beliefs," Henríquez said.

Missouri led the way in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, with the state's "trigger law" the first in the nation to go into effect, effectively banning abortion procedures.

Only time will tell if Bailey continues to fight off the pro-abortion lobby, which seems to be going all out in its push to keep abortion services legal in the heavily red state.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.