Supreme Court Declines to Adopt Great Rivers’ Argument Urging Court to Follow Statute Allowing Citizens Right to Sue over Unconstitutional Laws

Great Rivers attorney Henry Robertson argued in the Missouri Supreme Court on May 14 that citizens are entitled to sue over a law the legislature passes illegally, during the entire period after a bill becomes effective until the adjournment of the next full regular legislative session, under Section 516.500 of the Missouri statutes. Great Rivers represented the Missouri Coalition for the Environment and an individual in their challenge to House Bill 1713, which the plaintiffs argue violates the Missouri Constitution requiring bills to contain only one subject. H. B. 1713 tacked onto a Drinking Water Statute a section changing the make-up of the Clean Water Commission, the governmental agency that regulates Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations among other things, and allowed the Clean Water Commission to have six of seven members represent industry. Before, only two could represent industry. The plaintiffs believe this changed make-up will lead to less protection of the state’s rivers and streams. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch  and Jefferson City News Tribune covered the Supreme Court’s opinion.

Great Rivers Environmental Law Center Current River

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