The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled for Gov. Jay Nixon in a budget battle with State Auditor Tom Schweich.
The court ruled Tuesday that Schweich lacked legal standing at the time to challenge about $170 million of spending cuts announced by Nixon in June 2011. The court said the challenge amounted to a pre-audit of state spending, which it said the auditor cannot do.
Schweich said the ruling is merely technical and he will consider suing again after doing a new audit of the governor's office.
Missouri's judiciary is making plans to do more business electronically.
Chief Justice Mary Russell says the state court system will be expanding the availability of electronic filing for attorneys and the ability of the public to view those documents.
Electronic filing already is used in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals and the trial courts in 15 counties and the city of St. Louis. Russell says 12 more counties will start using electronic document filing later this year, and 30 others should join next year.
The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld a $1.5 million punitive damages judgment for a Kansas City area family in a long-running lawsuit against a tobacco company.
The court's ruling Tuesday affirmed the 2009 judgment against Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. for the family of Barbara Smith. The Independence woman was a longtime smoker and died of a heart attack in 2000.
The Missouri Supreme Court's decision to move ahead with two executions this year is being questioned by some death penalty observers and opponents.
The state High Court on Wednesday set execution dates for condemned killers Allen Nicklasson and Joseph Franklin. Missouri plans to become the first-ever state to use the anesthetic propofol for lethal injection. Propofol was used in the death of pop star Michael Jackson.
The Missouri Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to a law that raised the state's licensing fees on animal shelters.
The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a lawsuit filed by the Humane Society of the United States and two other animal shelters was moot. The court noted the suit challenged the procedure by which a 2010 licensing law was passed, but that lawmakers had changed the law again in 2011.
Two troubled St. Louis-area school districts could pay a combined $23 million to cover tuition and transportation costs for students opting to attend accredited districts.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that nearly 1,700 students in the Normandy and Riverview Gardens districts have applied to transfer. That follows a recent Missouri Supreme Court ruling requiring unaccredited districts to pick up those costs for students who want to attend better schools.
Judge Mary Russell is set to become Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court next week.
The Hannibal native has sat on the state's highest court since 2004, and previously served on the Appeals court for Missouri's Eastern District. Russell lists the expansion of specialty courts as one of her top priorities for her two-year term.