Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green today ruled in favor of Lt. Governor Kinder and legislative leaders in their legal challenge to Secretary of State Robin Carnahan's ballot summary regarding state health insurance exchanges.
Judge Green heard arguments this morning on the legality of the ballot summary. Jay Kanzler, attorney for Lt. Governor Kinder and other plaintiffs, argued Carnahan's language was biased, misleading and partial as a matter of law.
In his order, Judge Green wrote that "correct ballot summary is warranted" according to state law, and that the new ballot language should say, "Shall Missouri Law be amended to prohibit the Governor, or any state agency, from establishing or operating state-based health insurance exchanges unless authorized by a vote of the people or by the legislature?"
Kinder called the ruling an "enormous victory" for Missouri voters.
"It is imperative that voters have a clear and impartial summary on this crucial ballot issue that affects our healthcare rights and taxpayer dollars," he said. "Judge Green's ruling substantiates our claim that Secretary Carnahan's ballot summary does not pass the laugh test. The swiftness by which the judge issued his order gives proof to the clear bias in Carnahan's summary."
The case is eligible for appeal to the Supreme Court of Missouri for the next 10 days.
The other plaintiffs in the case include Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer, Senate Majority Floor Leader Tom Dempsey, Former House Speaker Steven Tilley, and Speaker Elect Tim Jones. They filed their petition on July 10 in Cole County Circuit Court. Carnahan filed her answer on Aug. 14, and the plaintiffs filed their motion for summary judgment on Aug. 15.
Before the hearing today, attorney Kevin Regent filed an amicus brief signed by several state lawmakers in support of the ballot language lawsuit.
"As Plaintiffs, we were honored to have the support of the conservative state legislators who filed an amicus brief on behalf of our claims against Carnahan's biased language," Kinder added.