News (USA)

Mo. GOP lawmakers want to intervene in lawsuits, namely same-sex marriage cases

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s Republican Senate leader wants the ability to intervene in lawsuits regarding the constitutionality of state laws, if the attorney general declines to appeal or ask for a stay of a court ruling.

Missouri state capitol in Jefferson City.
Missouri state capitol in Jefferson City.

Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey of St. Charles said in a statement Friday that he has filed a bill giving himself and the House speaker the authority to intervene in cases challenging state laws.

He says Attorney General Chris Koster has failed to fully defend Missouri’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in some recent cases.

Koster did not appeal a Missouri judge’s decision in October 2014 to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

Dempsey says General Assembly leaders should be able to intervene in such cases to defend state laws.

In December, a judge in Jackson County, Mo., rejected an attempt by the Missouri General Assembly’s GOP leadership to stop Kansas City from recognizing same-sex marriages from other states.

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