United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Central Division
MISSOURI ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES, d/b/a Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, et al., Plaintiffs,
STATE OF MISSOURI, et al., Defendants.
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING MOVANT TODD JONES'S
MOTION TO INTERVENE
D. SMITH, SENIOR JUDGE
is Movant Todd Jones's (“Jones”) Motion to
Intervene. Doc. #32. Jones invokes a right to intervene under
Rule 24(a) and, alternatively, asks for permission to
intervene pursuant to Rule 24(b). For the reasons below,
Jones's motion is denied.
challenge the constitutionality of Initiative Petition
2016-007, which was adopted by Missouri voters on November 8,
2016 and added to Article VIII of the Missouri Constitution
as Section 23. Section 23 regulates certain political
campaign contributions among and to various covered entities.
Defendants State of Missouri, the Missouri Ethics Commission,
and its Commissioners are charged with implementing and
enforcing Section 23.
seeks to intervene on behalf of Defendants. He is “an
individual, tax payer and contributes to various political
campaigns and as such is subject to campaign finance laws,
regulations and disclosures” and “an unelected
citizen of the State of Missouri.” Doc. #33, at 2.
Jones “makes campaign contributions which are reported
to the Missouri Ethics Commission and the outcome of this
litigation will effective[ly] dilute his campaign
contributions.” Id., at 4. Jones states,
“[i]f this Court strikes down Article VIII Section 23
of the Missouri Constitution and certain entities are
empowered to make unlimited campaign contributions it will
have the effect of diluting [Jones's] campaign
contributions.” Id., at 2. Jones argues his
interests are not adequately represented absent his
intervention in this matter because “[Defendants] must
represent the interests of all Missouri citizens, including
those that seek to make unlimited campaign
Intervention of Right
Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a)(2) bestows a right to intervene
on any party who “claims an interest related to...the
subject of the action and is so situated that disposing of
the action may as a practical matter impair or impede the
movant's ability to protect its interest, unless existing
parties adequately represent that interest.” In
addition to meeting these requirements, a would-be intervenor
must demonstrate it has standing under Article III of the
Constitution. E.g., United States v. Metro. St.
Louis Sewer Dist., 569 F.3d 829, 833-34 (8th Cir. 2009).
demonstrate standing, a proposed intervenor must show: (1)
injury-in-fact, (2) causation, and (3) redressability.
Lujan v. Defs. of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61
(1992). In particular, the injury must be “an invasion
of a legally protected interest that is concrete,
particularized, and either actual or imminent.”
Curry v. Regents of the Univ. of Minn., 167 F.3d
420, 422 (8th Cir. 1999). The alleged injury must also be
“fairly traceable to the defendant's conduct”
and capable of being remedied by a favorable decision.
Metro. St. Louis Sewer Dist., 569 F.3d at 834.
alleges an injury because, without Section 23, his ability to
make meaningful political campaign donations will be diluted
by large donations Plaintiffs wish to make. Jones's
interest in meaningful campaign contributions and preventing
dilution of his contributions is not a legally protected
interest sufficient to establish injury-in-fact. See
Shrink Mo. Gov't PAC v. Maupin, 922 F.Supp. 1413,
1420 (E.D. Mo. 1996) (citing Buckley v. Valeo, 424
U.S. 1, 48-49 (1976)) (“The State's governmental
interest in providing a ‘level playing field' was
clearly rejected as a ‘compelling state interest'
by the Buckley Court.”). Jones argues
Plaintiffs cite their ability to make contributions to
establish Article III standing, but his injury is unlike the
injuries alleged by Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs allege Section 23
prevents the type of donations they wish to make. Unlike
Plaintiffs, Jones wishes to continue to make his small-dollar
campaign contributions, but Section 23 does not prevent him
from doing so. Jones's alleged injury is insufficient to
establish he has standing to intervene.
Jones's injury is not particularized. Jones argues his
injury is not one suffered by all Missouri voters because not
all Missouri voters make political campaign contributions.
Therefore, Jones argues, he is representative of a unique
class of voters who voted to pass the ballot initiative and
make campaign contributions. Despite his effort to
characterize this alleged injury as particularized,
Jones's complaint is one shared by all who voted for the
ballot initiative. This generalized grievance shared in
common by all voters is insufficient to establish standing.
See Nolles v. State Comm. for Reorganziation of Sch.
Dists., 524 F.3d 892, 900 (8th Cir. 2008). Jones has not
established he has standing to intervene.
Intervention of Right
the Court to find Jones has standing to intervene, he has not
satisfied Rule 24(a)(2)'s requirements to intervene.
“[A] putative intervenor must establish that it: (1)
has a recognized interest in the subject matter of the
litigation that (2) might be impaired by the disposition of
the case and that (3) will not be adequately protected by the
existing parties.” N. Dakota ex rel. Stenehjem v.
United States, 787 F.3d 918, 921 (8th Cir. 2015)
(citation omitted). “[I]f an existing party to the suit
is charged with the responsibility of representing the
intervenor's interests, a presumption of adequate
representation arises.” Chiglo v. City of
Preston, 104 F.3d 185, 187 (8th Cir. 1997). “[T]he
burden is greater if the named party is a government entity
that represents interests common to the public.”
Little Rock Sch. Dist. v. N. Little Rock Sch. Dist.,
378 F.3d 774, 780 (8th Cir. 2004) (citing Curry, 167
F.3d at 423 (describing parens patriae doctrine)).
“We presume that the government entity adequately
represents the public, and we require the party seeking to
intervene to make a strong showing of inadequate
representation; for example, it may show that its interests
are distinct and cannot be subsumed within the ...