Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Monday appointed Michael L. Kehoe as lieutenant governor of Missouri, followed swiftly on Tuesday by the Missouri Democratic Party suing to block the appointment.
The suit reopens a longstanding legal debate over whether the governor has the power to appoint someone to the second-ranking executive position. The two offices are elected separately in the state, and the constitution isn’t clear on succession.
According to The Associated Press, the suit asks the Cole County Circuit Court to declare Parson’s action illegal.
Kehoe, former Senate majority floor leader, took the oath of office soon after Parson’s appointment. Both Parson and Kehoe are Republicans.
The lieutenant governor’s office was vacated June 1, when Parson ascended to the top spot after former Gov. Eric Greitens resigned.