On Tuesday, the Missouri Supreme Court will hear arguments in the Attorney General’s case concerning his illegal power grab for the initiative petition process.
Ahead of the hearing, more than 20 Missouri lawyers have signed the open letter below, calling on Attorney General Andrew Bailey to follow the law or step down:
Open Letter: When the state’s top legal officer can’t follow the law
We the undersigned members of the Missouri legal community are writing to express our shock and deep dismay that our state’s highest legal officer has repeatedly shown a willingness to distort and obfuscate Missouri law.
Most recently, Attorney General Andrew Bailey blocked the advancement of initiative petitions based on cost estimates he personally disputed from Auditor Scott Fitzpatrick, resulting in “a failure to perform [his] ministerial duty,” Circuit Judge Jon Beetem wrote.
Beetem ordered the attorney general to certify the fiscal note within the 24 hours, which he brazenly ignored. As the judge wrote in his 20-page opinion on the matter, Bailey “has no authority to substitute his own judgment for that of the Auditor regarding the estimated cost of a proposed measure,” Beetem wrote in his ruling. Bailey’s actions put Fitzpatrick in an “untenable and absurd position,” the judge said.
In addition, Bailey attempted to take advantage of a consumer protection loophole to impose a rule severely limiting health care for transgender youth – suspended by an injunction from the courts and later withdrawn.
In her ruling issuing a temporary restraining order blocking the rule, Circuit Court Judge Ellen Ribaudo expressed concerns with Bailey’s bending of Missouri law to unilaterally block health care access to minors. “This is a novel use of the attorney general’s power to promulgate emergency rules under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act that has never previously been subjected to judicial scrutiny and may impermissibly invade a function reserved to the legislature,” she wrote.
Both of these actions give us grave concerns about Bailey’s fitness to hold office as he has shown disregard for the courts and the rule of law. Based on the lack of respect he has shown for our state’s laws and courts, he should step down immediately.
Brendan J. Donelon
Gerald P. Greiman
Zachary L. Hammerman
Luz Maria Henriquez
John S. Meyer
Phillip J. Paster
Joseph B. Pereles
William B. Remis
Albert S. Rose
Mary Anne Sedey
Gary M. Siegel
Leonard D. Vines