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Thursday, February 8, 2007

Legislator Removed from Chairmanship

JETTON/LIPKE: On Feb. 5, House Speaker Rod Jetton, R-Marble Hill, held a news conference in Cape Girardeau to explain his removal of state Rep. Scott Lipke, R-Jackson, as chairman of the House Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee. According to the Southeast Missourian, Jetton stripped Lipke of his chairmanship as punishment for a provision of Jessica’s Law, a measure the General Assembly passed last year to impose tougher penalties on sex offenders. The disputed provision repealed the statute that made consensual same-sex sex a crime. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled such laws unconstitutional in 2003. Jetton accused Lipke of acting “in a very deceitful way” in repealing the provision and said Republican House members “no longer trusted him.” Lipke noted the repeal was contained in nearly every version of the bill. He said summaries he provided lawmakers, prosecutors and judges clearly referenced the repeal. Law enforcement groups have expressed disappointed in Jetton’s decision to oust Lipke as committee chairman.

I for one commend Rep. Lipke on his decision to repeal the statute. The statute was no longer enforceable and could have caused the entire bill to be thrown out by the courts had it not been removed. Anyone who read the bill could have seen what he was doing. Not only do I still trust Rep. Lipke, I have even more respect for him than I did in the past (and I respected him quite a bit).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another attempt to silence a dissenter. Thank you Mike for supporting Mr. Lipke.