Missouri Supreme Court hears statements on Lt. Gov. appointment
JEFFERSON CITY- Wednesday morning debate continued at the state Supreme Court on whether Governor Mike Parson had the legal authority to appoint Mike Kehoe as Lieutenant Governor.
On June 1, 2018, former Lt. Governor Mike Parson become governor following the resignation of former Governor Eric Greitens.
On June 18, Parson appointed Jefferson City Senator Mike Kehoe. Kehoe was sworn in the same day. Later that month, the Missouri Democratic Party filed a lawsuit on behalf of Darrell Cope, a World War II Veteran. The lawsuit challenged Parson's legal authority to appoint Kehoe to the Lt. Governor position.
Matthew Vianello, the plaintiff's attorney, spoke first. He wants the high court to look into the constitution's rules to clearly distinguish who the governor can appoint and who he cannot.
He said past politicians were appointed into the Lt. Governor position only after they were already elected.
"In each of these cases, our system has ensured that our Lieutenant Governor, the successor of the most important elected office in our state. Is somebody who has been chosen by the people," Vianello said.
John Sauer, the defendant's lawyer, said the Governor should be able to appoint someone for that role.
"The power to fill executive offices is according to the executive power that's invested in the governor by article IV section IV. The legislature would have to speak very clearly if it wanted to displace that," Sauer said.
KOMU ran into Kehoe at an election watch party Tuesday night.
He shared his on his thoughts on the State Supreme Court hearing regarding the lawsuit.
"Attorney's will work through that. I'm just gonna keep doing the job Governor Parson has asked me to do and I'll let the courts figure that out," Kehoe said.
The judges heard oral arguments from attorneys for the Darrell Cope vs. Michael L. Parson lawsuit.
The case was dismissed by a Cole County Judge. However, the appellants appealed it, and brought it to the Supreme Court.
The supreme court has not yet made a final decision.