JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled against a Highway Patrol trooper's same-sex partner who sought survivor benefits.
Patrol Cpl. Dennis Engelhard died in December 2009 when he was struck by a vehicle while investigating an accident on Interstate 44 in Eureka.
Missouri law entitles surviving spouses of Highway Patrol officers killed in the line of duty to an annuity. Engelhard's partner, Kelly Glossip, did not receive the benefit.
In a 5-2 ruling Tuesday, the Supreme Court said Glossip was denied benefits because he and Engelhard were not married - not because of his sexual orientation.
The court noted that Glossip had not challenged Missouri's prohibition of same-sex marriage.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Supreme Court this week is considering taxes for baking doughnuts and cookies.
Ameren Missouri sought a tax refund on behalf of Schnuck Markets Inc. for energy used by the grocery store's bakeries. The company points to a tax exemption for energy used in manufacturing, processing, compounding, mining or producing, and a Department of Revenue regulation with examples of what is considered "processing" that deals with bakeries.
However, the state is not buying what they're cooking. The deputy solicitor says the tax exemption is aimed at producing products in industrial plants and facilities.
The Missouri Supreme Court ruled in a March 2012 decision a convenience store could not claim a tax exemption for energy used to prepare food. The court concluded food preparation for retail consumption is not "processing."
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court again is considering a court challenge to a law permitting students to transfer from unaccredited school districts to other districts nearby.
The court upheld the law earlier in a case from the St. Louis area. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court's focus turned to Kansas City, which has been unaccredited since 2012.
Taxpayers from five surrounding districts filed suit and contend the transfer law is an unfunded mandate violating the Missouri Constitution.
A Jackson County judge ruled in favor of the Independence, Lee's Summit and North Kansas City plaintiffs but rejected the argument for Blue Springs and Raytown. The state and some plaintiffs appealed.
Transfers from Kansas City schools have been on hold, but student transfers have caused acrimony in the St. Louis area.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Gov. Jay Nixon in a budget battle with State Auditor Tom Schweich.
The court ruled Tuesday that Schweich did not have legal standing to challenge about $170 million of spending cuts announced by Nixon in June 2011.
The cuts to education and other services were based partly on the expectation that Missouri would incur millions of dollars of unbudgeted costs from a deadly tornado that hit Joplin a month earlier. As it turns out, the Joplin costs came in lower than expected.
The Supreme Court said Schweich's challenge to the governor's budget-cutting authority amounted to a pre-audit of state spending. The court says the auditor does not have such powers.
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S Solicitor General Donald Verrilli says employer challenges to the birth control mandate in the Affordable Care Act will likely be decided in the Supreme Court term that begins next month.
Dozens of employers have said that providing contraceptive coverage would violate their religious beliefs.
In a panel discussion Thursday, Verrilli predicted that the case could hinge on the justices' interpretation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. He said the federal law declares that "government shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion unless the government has a compelling interest, and the burden imposed is the least restrictive means of achieving that interest."
Verilli says at issue is whether corporations have religious rights, whether the burden on them is substantial, whether government has a compelling interest in making contraceptives available, and whether the mandate is the least restrictive means of doing so.
Lower courts have issued conflicting rulings, with some blocking enforcement of the mandate until the issues are decided.
A St. Louis judge will be honored by the U.S. Supreme Court for his work in juvenile justice. Judge Jimmie Edwards will be the 2013 recipient of the William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence. Chief Justice John Roberts will present the award in Washington on November 21st.
Judge Edward has been the driving force behind the Innovative Concept Academy. The five year old school is credited with turning troubled youths into academic successes and productive members of the community.
Edwards has been on the St. Louis Circuit Court bench since 1992, serving as Chief Juvenile Court Judge for five years.
The Supreme Court invalidated parts of the Defense of Marriage Act, but the Archdiocese of St. Louis is standing firm on its opposition of gay marriage.
The Archdiocese says in a statement that "marriage predates both the U.S. government and Western civilization". The statement also states the ruling does not change the Archdiocese "responsiblity to defend marriage as being between one man and one woman".
Wednesday's ruling allows same-sex couples to receive the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.
The full statement from the Archdiocese is below:
The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and to dismiss the California Proposition 8 appeal does not change the reality of marriage, nor does it change the Archdiocese of St. Louis's responsibility to defend marriage as being between one man and one woman. It is important to note that marriage predates both the U.S. government and Western civilization.
From a Catholic perspective, it is not enough to offer the Church’s position on same-sex union without also saying how it fits into a broader understanding of the sacrament of marriage, human sexuality, and the Gospel of Life as taught by Blessed John Paul II. The vocation to serve God and society through married life is a sacred union in which man and woman become one flesh. The Catholic Church does not condemn individuals for having same-sex attraction. She teaches that all people are called to responsibility regarding sexuality. The sexual union of a man and woman, when not obstructed by contraceptives, is the kind that is open to life even if new life is not the result.
We understand that married persons imitate the way Christ offers His body completely and permanently to the Church so that we might have life, and have it abundantly. This truth is written into our bodies as well as on the pages of the Old and New Testaments. While the law can allow other things to be called marriage, it cannot make them into the kind of union that is marriage.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is asking the U.S. Supreme Court for more time to decide whether to appeal a lower court's order saying citizens should be allowed to publicly carry concealed guns.
Madigan already got one extension - until June 24 - to challenge the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that said a ban on concealed firearms is unconstitutional. Now she wants until July 24.
The request was filed late Friday, but The Associated Press obtained a copy Monday before it was posted electronically.
The appellate court ordered the ban be lifted by July 9. Lawmakers complied by sending Gov. Pat Quinn a plan on permitting concealed carry.
A spokeswoman says one reason Madigan's seeking another delay is because of uncertainty over Quinn's plans for the measure.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court has ruled that police must usually try to obtain a search warrant from a judge before ordering blood tests for drunken-driving suspects.
The justices on Wednesday sided with a Missouri man who was subjected to a blood test without a warrant and found to have nearly twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor said for the court that the natural dissipation of alcohol in the blood is generally not sufficient reason to jettison the requirement that police get a judge's approval before drawing a blood sample.
Missouri and the Obama administration were asking the court to endorse a blanket rule that would have allowed the tests without a warrant.
By DAVID CRARY
NEW YORK (AP) - However the Supreme Court rules on same-sex marriage, the issue seems certain to divide Americans and the states for years to come.
After considering two cases involving gay couples' rights this week, the justices left open multiple options for rulings expected in June. But they signaled there was no prospect of imposing a 50-state solution at this stage.
With nine states allowing same-sex marriages and other states banning them, that means a longer spell with a patchwork marriage-rights map - and no early end to bruising battles in the courts, legislatures and at the ballot box.
Opponents of same-sex marriage seem resigned to a divided nation where the debate will continue to splinter families, communities, churches.
Supporters of same-sex marriage believe a nationwide victory is inevitable, though perhaps not imminent.