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    Arent Fox Successfully Defends Missouri's Right to Farm Amendment Before the Missouri Supreme Court

    July 1, 2015

    Washington, DC — Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Missouri upheld the Right to Farm Amendment to the Missouri Constitution. Missouri voters adopted this amendment to the Missouri Constitution last August, but opponents challenged the election and asked the Missouri Supreme Court to invalidate the decision of almost one-half million Missouri voters.  
     
    “We are gratified the Missouri Supreme Court upheld the decision of Missouri voters,” said Appellate partner Thor Hearne, who defended the Right to Farm Amendment and argued the case, Shoemeyer v. Kander, before the Missouri Supreme Court. “When the voters have decided an election, it is wrong for the loser to go to court and try and overturn the will of the electorate.” Attorney Stephen S. Davis joined Mr. Hearne in defense of the Right to Farm Amendment.
     
    Mr. Shoemeyer claimed that Secretary of State Jason Kander, a Democrat, approved a “deceptive” ballot title that mislead Missouri voters. Mr. Hearne and Mr. Davis joined Secretary of State Kander to defend Missouri voters’ decision and prevent the opponents of the Right to Farm Amendment from overturning the outcome of a state-wide election. "The Court’s decision affirming the election is a great victory for the democratic process and the right of citizens — not special interests — to decide these important issues of Missouri public policy,” said Mr. Hearne. “As we argued before the Missouri Supreme Court, opponents cannot wait until after the election to see if they win or lose and then, if they lose, challenge the voters’ decision after the fact.”
     
    Mr. Hearne and Mr. Davis represented Missouri Farmers Care, a coalition representing Missouri’s farming and agriculture community and Missouri families whose livelihood depends upon the right to farm. Their brief supporting the Right to Farm Amendment is here and the Missouri Supreme Court’s decision is here. In September, Secretary of State Kander certified the recount results of the Right to Farm Amendment that protects the individual rights of farmers and ranchers. The amendment is non-partisan, with both Democrats and Republicans in support. “We sought to defend Missouri voters’ right to decide elections,” said Mr. Hearne, “and we are gratified the Supreme Court agreed.”
     
    Arent Fox has one of the nation’s most experienced election law litigation practices. Its attorneys have successfully represented candidates in matters that include ballot access, recounts, post-election litigation, and redistricting. Earlier this week, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal Mr. Hearne and the Arent Fox team brought on behalf of Arizona voters challenging Arizona’s state legislative redistricting scheme. That case is Harris v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission and a link to Arent Fox’s brief can be found here. The firm is recognized nationally for its bi-partisan election law and campaign finance practice.