VERNON COUNTY, Mo. — The Missouri Court of Appeals issues an opinion in a precedent-setting case that pits Republicans against Republicans.

Leaving in place their order to keep the candidates on the August ballot, the justices dismissed the appeal.

The opinion says the issue is moot because state law is clear and candidates can not be added or removed from a ballot within eight weeks of an election.

At issue was the Vernon County Republican Committee’s vetting process.

Jasper County Judge Gayle Crane issued an order saying the Vernon County clerk had a duty to get a receipt from the GOP committee before placing candidates on a ballot.

In essence, the lower court said Republican committees get to decide who their candidates can be — not the voters.

Today’s opinion says this issue can be litigated again and that while this case was fast-tracked because it related to voters’ rights, the justices said lower courts have historically always fast-tracked issues like this.

Today’s opinion means the issue is not settled, and Republican committees can try again in the future.

The Vernon County vetting process is meant to determine who is “Republican enough” to be on the ballot as a candidate for their party.