Friday, Aug. 26, 2011
Young files brief with Supreme Court
By Allen Edmonds, The Democrat Missourian
Cass County's elected Presiding Commissioner Herschel Young, currently appealing the stayed ouster order of Presiding Circuit Judge Jacqueline Cook, filed his opening motion with the Missouri Supreme Court through his attorney, Charlie Dickman, on Tuesday.
Dickmans appeal covers primarily the same ground he had argued in Cass County Circuit Court, that:
Missouri Rev. Statute 115.130 violates the Missouri Constitutions prohibition against laws retrospective in operation. Dickman argued that applying the 2007 law preventing a convicted felon from running for elective office was unconstitutional in light of the fact that Young pleaded guilty in 1995, and would be subject to a new duty, obligation or disability.
The Circuit Court erred in granting Cass County Prosecuting Attorney Teresa Hensleys Quo Warranto motion because the law in force only challenges Youngs qualifications to be a candidate for elective office, not to hold elective office, and no other Missouri statute disqualifies Young from holding the office of presiding commissioner.
The trial court erred in entering its judgment based on 115.130 because the law violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution in addition to the state Constitution by treating similarly situated persons differently by preventing a person from running for office who commits a felony under the laws of Missouri but allowing persons who commit a felony under the law of other states or the laws of the United States to run for office.
Hensley has 30 days to file her response, after which Young has another 15 days to file a rebuttal before oral arguments are scheduled.
Young, who defeated incumbent Gary Mallory in November 2010, pleaded guilty to a felony assault charge in 1995. He was sentenced to three years of probation, and has subsequently held elective office in Lake Annette.