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Missouri Supreme Court asks to halt using judges' photo in support of Eric Schmitt's Senate campaign

Eric Schmitt
Posted at 3:26 PM, Jun 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 17:22:23-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Supreme Court has asked the state's attorney general, Eric Schmitt, to stop using photos of the court's judges for a mailer in support of his campaign for Congress.

Schmitt announced he was running for U.S. Senate last March after longtime Sen. Roy Blunt announced he wouldn't run for reelection. Both are Republicans.

The Missouri Supreme Court said it learned Thursday about the mailer, which shows Schmitt along with three of the court's judges.

The photo was taken by a member of Schmitt's staff during Missouri's bicentennial celebration last August.

The judges were there in official capacities and weren't aware the photo would be used in such context.

According to the Missouri Constitution, Supreme Court judges are prohibited from engaging in any political activity. Therefore, the judges would never consent to their names, titles or likenesses being used in any political context, the Supreme Court said.

"The judges are disappointed that this photograph was used, without their knowledge or consent, for such a blatant political purpose," the Supreme Court said in a statement. "They are reporting the incident as required by their judicial code of conduct and legal ethics."

The Supreme Court has asked Schmitt's office to delete the photograph and others like it from his office's public or social media accounts to prevent this from continuing.

Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, who is among those running against Schmitt in the GOP primary in August, had an ethical concern crop up in April after his campaign used video from a ride-along with Kansas City, Missouri, police.

Greitens, who resigned as governor amid a blackmail scandal involving an extra-marrital affair, is not accused of criminal conduct, but KCPD announced an investigation into its officer "regarding prohibited political activity."

Rep. Vicky Hartzler also is running for the nomination to replace Blunt in a crowded field of 10 Republican candidates.