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Court Certifies Amended MoCRI Ballot Language; Group Praises Court Decision

January 7th, 2008 by mopns · No Comments

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

01/07/08

Contact: Tim Asher

Cell: (816) 868-3933

Grain Valley-(Today) In an unprecedented move, Circuit Court Judge Richard Callahan revised and certified official ballot title language for the Missouri Civil Rights Initiative (MoCRI), a proposed constitutional amendment scheduled for the November 2008 election. The previous ballot title language, drafted by Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s office, prompted a lawsuit from MoCRI Executive Director Tim Asher challenging that the language was insufficient, unfair, and argumentative. The amended summary statement provided by Judge Callahan goes a long way toward correcting those deficiencies.

“This new ballot summary is far superior to the original language rendered by the Secretary of State and approved by the Attorney General,” Asher said. “It is apparent that Carnahan and Nixon were primarily interested in keeping the citizens of Missouri from having a say on what is a very relevant issue for this state”.

American Civil Rights Institute President, Ward Connerly, is a primary supporter of the MoCRI and similar initiatives slated for the 2008 election in four other states. Regarding the Missouri ruling, Connerly stated, “This is a victory for all Missourians and serves to validate the political safeguards enacted by statute. The court ruled accordingly in what can only be described as an act of courage and decency”.

Today’s decision marks the culmination of months of legal wrangling. This is the first time in Missouri’s history that official ballot language certified by the Secretary of State has been amended by the courts. Another lawsuit, which called for a change to the fiscal note summary submitted by State Auditor Montee, had been consolidated with the Asher case. The court ruled to uphold the Auditor’s fiscal note summary as it was originally given.

The amended language reads:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

Ban state and local government affirmative action programs that give preferential treatment in public contracting, employment, or education based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin unless such programs are necessary to establish or maintain eligibility for federal funding or to comply with a court order?

The Missouri Civil Rights Initiative Committee (MoCRI), a Missouri-based ballot initiative committee, is dedicated to providing the people of Missouri the opportunity to end discrimination and preferential treatment based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin by state or local governments.

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