Missouri Republicans Seek To Impeach Governor For Allowing Gay Couples To File Taxes Jointly

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Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D)

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D)

Missouri state Rep. Nick Marshall (R) has filed two articles of impeachment against Gov. Jay Nixon (D), accusing him of violating the state constitution for issuing an executive order allowing married same-sex couples to file their taxes jointly. Of the 163 members of the Missouri House, only seven others — all Republicans — co-sponsored Marshall’s filing.

Despite Marshall’s insistence that the Missouri constitution prevents the recognition of same-sex couples’ marriages, the state’s tax policy instructs that filings should match what is filed at the federal level. Since the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act last year, married same-sex couples can now file their federal taxes jointly, which means according to the law, they’d also have to file their state taxes jointly. Nixon’s order resolves this conflict, allowing these to file jointly, but it still prevents them from accessing state marriage benefits, preserving the intent of the amendment. Without his order, couples would be forced to violate state law to file their taxes — as will be the case in Virginia.

The Missouri Constitution allows for impeachment on the following grounds: “crimes, misconduct, habitual drunkenness, willful neglect of duty, corruption in office, incompetency, or any offense involving moral turpitude or oppression in office.”