Rep. Mike Moon has filed Articles of Impeachment against Governor Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon.
February 13, 2014
Missouri governors have a Constitutional and Statutory duty to issue writs of election “without delay.” Rep. Moon states that Governor Nixon committed an impeachable act under Article VII, Section 1 of the Missouri Constitution when he knowingly failed to issue writs of election for four vacancies in the Missouri General Assembly, “without delay,” as required under section 21.110, RSMo.
Three House seats and one Senatorial seat are currently vacant. The 120th House seat, formerly occupied by U.S. Congressman Jason Smith, has been vacant since June 5, 2013 – more than eight months.
Prior to the Revolutionary War, colonists complained of “taxation without representation” – one of the grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence and a factor leading to war against England. Today, about 285,000 Missouri citizens are currently unrepresented in the General Assembly.
“Although the governor has issued a writ of election for August 5, 2014, a glaring eight month delay has occurred,” according to Moon. “In addition, an election to fill the 22nd Senate seat formerly held by Ryan McKenna has not been scheduled.”
The Missouri House of Representatives has sole power of impeachment and Moon believes it is his Constitutional duty to call for the governor’s impeachment.
Should the House of Representatives vote to impeach, the Senate is required to select a panel of seven judges “without delay” under RSMo 106.080. When a Missouri governor is impeached, he is “suspended from exercising his office...,” under RSMo 106.050.
“Missouri citizens will eagerly watch to see how the Senate interprets the phrase, “without delay.” If the Senate follows the governor’s interpretation, they could justifiably wait to select a panel of judges for eight months – or longer. If I were a betting man, I’d put money on the governor hoping for a speedy trial – “without delay,” stated Moon.