Judge weighing whether to dismiss Lt. Gov. case

Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – A Cole County Circuit Court judge has questioned the value of a lawsuit asking him to declare Gov. Mike Parson’s recent appointment of Mike Kehoe as Missouri’s lieutenant governor illegal.

Judge Jon Beetem, who presided over Thursday’s hearing, asked what the point would be of challenging an appointment that has already happened. The Missouri Democratic Party had filed suit in June saying state law should prevent governors from appointing the executive branch’s No. 2 position.

An attorney representing the party says there’s still value in ruling on a long-standing debate in the state.

Lawyers with the attorney general’s office say the Missouri Constitution allows the appointment, and the case should be dismissed.

Parson and Kehoe are Republicans.

The judge did not indicate when he’ll decide whether the case can proceed.