Where is our republic heading?
This is the question on the minds of many residents of St. Charles County, Missouri who reacted to the news that they are now the subject of an impending lawsuit brought against them by their own city councils for a decision made at the ballot box regarding a ban on red light cameras.
The lawsuit filed against voters in the cities of Lake St. Louis, St. Peters, and O’Fallon could take years to resolve in court.
KMOV-4 St. Louis has the story:
Voters approved the ban November 4, with 73 percent of those who went to polls supporting the measure. However, those suing maintain the county has overstepped its legal bounds.
“Seventy-three percent of the voters pass a ban on red light cameras so what these cities are doing are suing 73 percent of the voters in St. Charles County, within their own cities. They’re suing their own residents,” said St. Charles County Councilman Joe Brazil. Supporters of red light cameras say the cameras are for safety, while critics say they are just a money grab. Who can regulate and restrict red light cameras is open to debate. St. Peters issued a statement saying:
No authority exists for St. Charles County to lay claim to the regulation of traffic on city streets. …
The attorney representing the cities filing the lawsuit said the county’s legal authority is very clear.
“The state can dictate what cities are authorized to do or prohibit the cities from doing things. There’s nothing in the Missouri Constitution that provides the county to do the same thing,” said attorney John Young.
Benswann.com has more on the strange story:
Meanwhile, red light cameras in the county remain in place pending the forthcoming ruling, though they have been kept in a powered-off state since September. …The lawsuit essentially claims that county residents have no legal authority to dictate the laws under which they live and that their consent is no longer necessary for enforcement.
The plaintiffs claim that they have standing to go forward with the lawsuit, which was filed in St. Charles County Circuit Court, because the cities involved would lose revenue if the ban were to be enforced. …
The Missouri Supreme Court is currently considering three separate red light camera cases, which had their first hearings on December 2.
Hopefully, the politicians involved with bringing the suit will be out of a job before too long.