Appeal filed after Clean Missouri amendment removed from Nov. ballot

Amendment supporters call ruling a "speed bump"

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Amendment 1, also called Clean Missouri, was removed by from the Nov. ballot Friday as ordered by Cole County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Green.

The lawsuit, filed by Paul Ritter of St. Elizabeth and Kansas City attorney Edward Greim, made five claims against the proposed amendment. Green sided with the petitioners on two of those claims and ordered Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft to rescind the item from the upcoming ballot.

Greim, according to the Missouri Ethics Commission, was a registered lobbyist for about two weeks earlier this year.

Green's order found that Clean Missouri, an initiative petition, would change multiple parts of the state constitution at once, which violates a constitutional rule. Because of this, "A separate initiative petition is required," Green said.

Charles Hadwick, counsel for the organization backing the amendment, immediately filed an appeal to Green's ruling. Hadwick issued a statement saying:

"We have always thought that this legal matter would be decided at the Appeals Court level. This is a speed bump, but the law is on our side, the people are on our side, and Amendment 1 will be passed in November to clean up Missouri politics."

The initiative aims to reduce lobbyist gifting to lawmakers, change procedure for redrawing district lines and more. The Clean Missouri website has more information, as well as a link to the amendment text.

An appellate judge will need to make a ruling on Green's decision in the last week of September in order to change the November ballot.

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