JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld Gov. Mike Parson's appointment of Mike Kehoe as lieutenant governor.
Judges ruled 5-2 Tuesday in favor of Kehoe keeping his job.
Kehoe took office amid a shuffling of state officeholders that began after former Gov. Eric Greitens resigned in the face of potential impeachment last June.
Parson had been serving as lieutenant governor and was elevated to the state's top executive position. He appointed fellow Republican Kehoe to replace him as lieutenant governor.
Missouri's governor and lieutenant governor are elected separately.
The Missouri Democratic Party and a man named Darrell Cope had sued in protest of Kehoe's appointment.
But the Supreme Court judges on Tuesday ruled that the governor does have the authority to appoint a lieutenant governor in the case of a vacancy.
Governor Mike Parson released this statement:
Missouri’s constitution is clear regarding the authority to make gubernatorial appointments. It’s important that Missouri have all of the statewide offices filled, which work to provide stability and to ensure that all Missourians are being served appropriately. The Lieutenant Governor is an important office for this State, and I applaud the Missouri Supreme Court’s decision today which confirms the position, as well as the position of previous Governors from both parties, that the Governor has the authority to appoint a Lieutenant Governor in the event of a vacancy."