JEFFERSON CITY — A Missouri judge has issued a preliminary injunction blocking the firing of three administrative law judges who decide workers' compensation cases.
Gov. Jay Nixon's administration had said the dismissals were necessary because of budget cuts approved by the Legislature. But an attorney for the judges argued that state law allows the judges' early removal from office only if they receive bad marks from an evaluation panel.
Cole County Judge Jon Beetem issued a temporary restraining order last month allowing the administrative judges to keep working past the scheduled July 1 budget cuts.
His new preliminary injunction also bars any retaliatory action against the judges, including moving their offices or reducing their access to staff, computers and supplies.