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“…You think they’re doing this to delay the gathering of signatures? Of course they are…”

Today the Missouri Supreme Court refused to intervene in the Missouri Western District Court of Appeals ruling that the Missouri ACLU’s initiative petition to reverse the anti-abortion HB 126 can move forward in the process.

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (r) [2019 file photo].

From the Missouri ACLU:

ACLU Win Affirmed, But Ashcroft Continues to Prevent Vote
July 12, 2019 – 4:00pm

Today, the Missouri Supreme Court let stand the Court of Appeals holding that Secretary of State Ashcroft acted outside his legal authority by rejecting the referendum petition on Missouri’s abortion ban. This recognition that Ashcroft acted illegally should prevent him from ever again abusing his office to derail the people’s right to challenge legislation by referendum.

Unfortunately, Ashcroft is continuing to obstruct the people’s vote by dragging his feet in his quest to deny the people a say on Missouri’s extreme 8-week abortion ban. If he acted promptly, supporters could begin to gather signatures by July 18 at the latest. But Ashcroft seems intent to slow the process so that supporters will not have enough time to collect enough signatures.

“It is no secret that Ashcroft’s agenda is banning abortion in Missouri,” says Anthony Rothert, interim Executive Director at the ACLU of Missouri. “While it is fantastic that the courts have made clear that he acted illegally, he may well succeed in preventing voters from getting their say on this important issue. Ashcroft’s tenure as Missouri’s chief election officer continues to be marked by efforts to prevent Missourians from voting.”

If Ashcroft had not illegally rejected the referendum petition, then he would have had to certify the petition for signature gathering by July 18. He will not meet that deadline, which in turn denies a meaningful opportunity to collect signatures, which must be submitted by August 28.

We reject the idea that Missourians can be denied the right to a referendum because of the unlawful action of an elected official determined to take away constitutional rights. The people kept for themselves the right of referendum to safeguard Missourians from an overzealous, out-of-touch government. No matter how they would vote on the referendum, every Missourian is harmed by Ashcroft’s abuse of this office to serve his radical anti-abortion agenda.

Our fight is not over. We continue to push Ashcroft to his job by certifying ballot language by July 18. Should he fail to do so, we will not let Missourians forget that he has taken the fate of the abortion ban away from the voters of Missouri.

Ironic isn’t it? Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (r) gets away with doing his job poorly. In Missouri republican circles that’s considered a feature, not a bug.


HB 126 and HB 127: catering to their single issue base (December 3, 2018)

Gov. Mike Parson (r): Alabama, hold my beer… (May 15, 2019)

Gov. Mike Parson (r): New York is shorthand for what? (May 16, 2019)

Medieval (May 17, 2019)

Sen. Denny Hoskins (r): post session victory dance over any individal woman’s personal medical decisions (May 17, 2019)

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): the 13th Century GOP in 21st Century America (May 20, 2019)

HB 126: the elephant in the womb (May 24, 2019)

HB 126: “…here for the ratio” (May 25, 2016)

Missouri: Medieval (May 28, 2019)

ACLU: Referendum Petition filed on HB 126 (May 28, 2019)

Women’s Health Care in Missouri – 1, Gov. Mike Parson (r) – 0 (May 31, 2019)

Our nation turns its eyes to Missouri (June 1, 2019)

State Auditor Nicole Galloway (D): Gov. Mike Parson (r) and HB 126 – “…extreme and cruel.” (June 3, 2019)

In the Medieval State of Missouri (June 4, 2019)

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (r): Emergency! Emergency! (June 7, 2019)

American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri and Sara E. Baker v. John R. Ashcroft, et al. (July 8, 2019)

State Auditor Nicole Galloway (D): going forward with the HB 126 petition (July 8, 2019)

So this happened today (July 9, 2019)

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (r): slow walk (July 10, 2019)