A key Missouri term limits provision has been overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court has ruled unanimously that states can no longer use election ballots to brand congressional candidates as opponents of term limits. The ruling takes aim at Missouri’s labelling provision, which instituted a practice known as “scarlet lettering.” It would have made voters aware of candidates who oppose term limits. The Supreme Court justices voted to toss out the law, which was approved by voters in 1996, claiming it falls outside the power the Constitution gives the states to regulate elections. The provision was challenged and then defended by then-Secretary of State Bekki Cook. Current Secretary of State Matt Blunt says he supports voter-backed initiatives and would have defended the provision in the courts. But he concedes the Supreme Court ruling is the final word on the matter – short of a Constitutional amendment.
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