Clay Chastain wins a round in court

The Missouri Supreme Court today ruled partially in favor of Clay Chastain, sending his massive light rail plan back to circuit court.

The high court’s 7-0 decision found a Jackson County Circuit judge erred in finding that Chastain’s initiative petition violated the state constitution.

The Tuesday ruling also found that Judge Sandra Midkiff’s ruled improperly when she dismissed Chastain’s counterclaim to put his petition to a vote.

But Supreme Court Judge Paul C. Wilson wrote in a separate concurring opinion that the high court does not suggest any position on merits of the counterclaim or other issues involved.

The case now goes back to circuit court for more review.

Chastain gathered enough signatures in 2011 to seek voter approval for two sales taxes for a massive light rail line, a commuter rail line and a streetcar line.

The City Council said it was not feasible and did not put it on the ballot. Midkiff and the appeals court ruled in the city’s favor.

City Attorney Bill Geary told the Kansas City Star he is still reviewing the opinion and declined further comment.


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