JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal has shown no signs of resigning from her position following her comments about her hope of President Donald Trump being assassinated, and it seems that the Missouri Legislature could be preparing to take matters into their own hands.
In a letter sent to Senate members Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Mike Parson called on the state senators to call for a special session “for the purpose of expelling Senator Chappelle-Nadal” from the Missouri Senate.
Here’s the letter:
The recent inflammatory comments made by Senator Chappelle-Nadal are unacceptable and unbefitting conduct of a Missouri State Senator. I am calling on the Missouri Senate to go into special session in conjunction with Veto Session, with the purpose of expelling Senator Chappelle-Nadal from the body under the authority vested to the Senate under Article III, Section 18 of the Missouri Constitution. I do not make this request of you lightly, but you and I know it is the right course of action to take for the people of Missouri.
Condemnation for these remarks was swift and bipartisan. Governor Greitens, Senator McCaskill, Congressman Clay, Congressman Cleaver, and numerous others – including myself – have called for Senator Chappelle-Nadal to resign, but she has thus far refused. I would like to thank Minority Leader Gina Walsh for her swift action to condemn the Senator’s remarks and remove her from committee assignments.
I realize what I am asking is nearly unprecedented. The Senate has not sought to remove a member since 1945. However, in a situation like this, we as a body have a responsibility to hold ourselves to a higher standard and draw a line against these inexcusable actions. It is unacceptable for a public official to call for violence against the President of the United States, and there is no place in the Missouri General Assembly for a legislator who embraces such harmful rhetoric.
Under the state Constitution, legislators may expel one of their own members with a two-thirds vote, per Article III, Section 18. However, state law doesn’t provide any examples of what offenses would be considered worthy of expulsion.
But to call a special session, the Senate and House must call themselves into a session with a three-fourths vote from the members of each chamber. There is no provision that allows for a single chamber to convene a special session, however, which means that under the Missouri Constitution, both chambers must sign a petition to convene a special.
The numbers needed to do so? 26 senators and 123 representatives.
Lt. Gov. Parson confirmed that he had spoken personally with over half of the senators, saying they are in agreement her actions are unacceptable.
Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.