His background is also interesting:
His wife is the Executive Director of the Missouri Bar and he used to be a deputy lawyer in the governor's office.
This could easily be a first step towards running for an elected position.
I was not aware of the ridiculous budget cuts to the PD office. I'll be contacting my legislators...
My animus toward prosecutors seeking office is perhaps a sort of personal idiosyncrasy, but I figure that someone who is comfortable sending drug users to prison is someone without an ethical core. It is entirely possible to work as an attorney without doing that, but recently it seems like that's the primary route that people take to elective office. I'd like to break the dynamic that encourages ambitious politicians to send poor folks to prison in exchange for "tough on crime" electoral bona fides.
For some reason the governor's office has withheld $3.5 million of those funds (apparently that's a power the MO governor has?).
The US president used to be able to do this, Thomas Jefferson was the first in 1801 per Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impoundment_of_appropriated_fu...), and it continued to help keep the US Federal budget a bit sane until in 1974 when the Nixon excuse was used, as it was for so much else, to completely change the way we did budgeting (and much else, like campaign financing, the primary system, etc.).
As someone who's been there for the before and after, this was not an improvement, something that's going to be brought forcefully to everyone's attention when e.g. we are no longer viewed as the least worst place to stash your wealth.
...and also cut $60M in tax revenue without matching spending cuts, taking the political win of lower taxes while forcing the governor to choose between screwing the state Kansas-style or else taking the political fall-out for spending cuts. Heads I win, tails you lose.
It's all theater, and you're being duped if you think the legislature isn't at least equally responsible for MO's under-funding of p much everything.
> apparently that's a power the MO governor has?
Yes, it's actually for more common than not in state governments. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line-item_veto_in_the_United_S...
The legislature is just as complicit in the current situation as Nixon. You don't get to slash taxes and then complain that it's someone else's fault that there's no money for critical programs.
I only skimmed the discussion a bit and searched for keywords, but I'm not sure how that can be true when we have an independently elected Attorney General. Unlike the unitary executive system of the Federal executive, where the President can fire the AG at will (see e.g. the other Nixon's Saturday Night Massacre), I don't think the state governor has any power over the AG's office besides I guess the same power to defund him that Nixon did to create this situation in the first place.
Or I'm forgetting details perhaps never taught in 7th grade state level civics, back in the early-mid '70s.
Gov. Nixon's conflict, of course, ends after another +/- 150 days. I bet the defendant can get a short extension, if he wants this lawyer -- and if he's free on bail, Jay Nixon is probably a better choice than another random Missouri lawyer.
Of course, the Governor could pardon Defendant if he thought he was innocent. (That's probably another layer of conflict of interest under the ethics rules.)
Whatever the Constitutional issues, it's messy for sure, although as noted he could take on the case after he steps down, he just won't be able to spend as much time with his family ^_^.
John Oliver covered this crisis recently: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=USkEzLuzmZ4
but I'm sure people do base their opinions off whatever appeals to their logic and emotions, in whatever medium it comes in
In any case, it looks like the title has been changed again.
I think it's bullshit, but whatever, it's their site.
Granted I don't exactly know how these departments are layout but I thought that without a prosecutor you don't need a defence. So a 1:1 ratio would seem about fair, and being overwhelmed would be a case of inefficiencies in one department compared to another.
PDs tend to be good lawyers, but you're boned if you need one. Again, it's not the legal skills, it's that they lack the resources to actually dig into your case, and the sorts of people who usually need a PD are also of a socioeconomic status that doesn't have the education or resources to do the legwork.
In Missouri, most prosecutions are handled by a county's Prosecuting Attorney's office, which are funded by each county's budget (largely property taxes).
There are 115 counties, including St. Louis. In larger counties, those offices will have 150 employees and $10 million budgets. The counties sometimes pay for office space for the Public Defender, but they're not paying salaries. The $35 million for Prosecution Services in the state budget is to fund a small office that helps coordinate the county efforts statewide, and helps prosecutors in small counties who are overwhelmed by unexpectedly complex cases.
So the $40 million for defense state wide, which will be dwarfed by the combined budgets of the Attorney General and county prosecutors.
That's not to say that 1:1 parity is necessary or desirable for real justice. But it's misleading to compare just the state level budgets and assume it's even roughly equal.
Public defenders also include the ad litem attorneys for children in family court.
Giving all the racial issues Missouri has been facing... The lack of pd funding is terrible.
It looks like governors have served on jury duty as well
The thirteenth amendment was never intended to remove any power to enslave by the state.
Being subject to the provision of law at issue is something people voluntarily accept when they apply for a license to practice law in the state, and for which they receive benefits not available to the general public in exchange.
> Or are there other precedents for forcing people to fill government roles?
Yes, specifically within the judicial system, even. See, e.g., jury duty, which does apply to the general citizenry.
Supreme court precedent on this is actually pretty clear, and it comes down to "pretty much nothing but actual slavery is considered involuntary servitude".
See, e.g, Arver v. United States (the involuntary military draft is not a 13th amendment violation).
If the military draft is not a 13th amendment violation, i think you are going to have a pretty weak argument having to defend some guy in court is.
Right, you can't quit the militia, as that term is understood in the interpretation of the Constitution, and there is an express Constitutional power of the federal government to call up the militia.
OTOH, the existence of that express Constitutional power and the long-understood Constitutional meaning of "militia" means that military conscription isn't a good reference point for the Constitutionality of any other type of mandatory public service.
Once things get grim enough, the army will take anyone. Towards the end of the second world war, the Germans were drafting children and old men.
Edit: Weird that this is being voted down. Conscription is involuntary service by definition, and has been used by the US government within living memory.