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VICTORY! Missouri Court of Appeals Rules (Again) That Cole County Prosecuting Attorney is Obligated to Search for and Produce Public Records

VICTORY! Missouri Court of Appeals Rules (Again) That Cole County Prosecuting Attorney is Obligated to Search for and Produce Public Records

More than eight years ago the Cole County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office refused even to search for certain public records that Aaron Malin had requested. In 2019 the Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling that this refusal was a purposeful violation of the Sunshine Law and that the Office was required to search for and produce all records responsive to Malin’s request. But nearly four years later the Office acknowledged that it still had not searched 6,000-8,000 cases’…

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Freedom Center Files Eighth Circuit Brief Defending Second Amendment Preservation Act

Freedom Center Files Eighth Circuit Brief Defending Second Amendment Preservation Act

The Freedom Center of Missouri has long been at the forefront of the battle to preserve citizens’ right to keep and bear arms. We helped draft the amendment voters adopted in 2014 to broaden the right of self-defense enshrined in Article I, section 23 of the Missouri Constitution. We helped draft the Second Amendment Preservation Act (SAPA) that the state legislature passed and the governor signed in 2021 – this law prohibits state and local officials from assisting in the…

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Freedom Center on the Cowboy & Judge Show

Freedom Center on the Cowboy & Judge Show

The Freedom Center of Missouri’s Director of Litigation, Dave Roland, recently sat down for an interview with the Cowboy & Judge show on ABC30 in St. Louis. This wide-ranging conversation covers the organization’s perspective on individual liberty, its relationship to Dave’s religious background, and the challenges inherent in doing high-level public interest litigation.

VICTORY! Trial court holds that city violated First Amendment, Equal Protection Clause by banning activist from City Hall

VICTORY! Trial court holds that city violated First Amendment, Equal Protection Clause by banning activist from City Hall

On September 1, 2023, the Phelps County Circuit Court held a trial in Rebecca Varney v. City of Edgar Springs, a case in which small-town officials banned a resident from City Hall for four years simply because she had persistently criticized the way the local government was run. Yesterday – almost three years to the day after the Freedom Center of Missouri filed this lawsuit on Ms. Varney’s behalf – the court granted the plaintiff a sweeping victory. The judgment…

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Rebecca Varney Proves You CAN Successfully Fight (To Go To) City Hall

Rebecca Varney Proves You CAN Successfully Fight (To Go To) City Hall

On November 15, 2022, Phelps County Circuit Judge John Beger issued a judgment holding that the City of Edgar Springs, Missouri, had violated Rebecca Varney’s right to due process of law by banning her from City Hall for four years without first notifying her of its factual or legal basis for doing so and without giving her an opportunity to dispute such a basis at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner. Judge Beger also held that the City…

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After Four Years, Rebecca Varney Can Once Again Go to City Hall

After Four Years, Rebecca Varney Can Once Again Go to City Hall

In 2018 the City of Edgar Springs, Missouri, responded to Rebecca Varney’s diligent reviewing of public records and criticisms of the local government by banning her from entering City Hall. In November 2020 the Freedom Center of Missouri took on Rebecca’s cause, suing the City and arguing that its actions against her had violated multiple constitutional provisions as well as Missouri’s Sunshine Law. Several months ago the Freedom Center filed a motion for summary judgment, pointing out that several of…

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Oral Argument Set for Good Samaritan Case

Oral Argument Set for Good Samaritan Case

At 9:00 a.m. on June 16, 2022, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in Redlich v. City of St. Louis, a case that challenges the City’s interference with a pastor’s efforts to share food with homeless people on the City’s streets. This appeal follows a federal magistrate judge’s opinion that affirmed the City’s requirement for Pastor Ray Redlich and his colleague, Chris Ohnimus, to comply with the same regulations that apply to restaurants and grocery stores…

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Freedom Center Files Brief in Support of Second Amendment Preservation Act

Freedom Center Files Brief in Support of Second Amendment Preservation Act

The Freedom Center has filed an important brief on behalf of Gun Owners of America, Inc., and the Gun Owners Foundation in support of Missouri’s new Second Amendment Preservation Act (SAPA). The statute prohibits state and local officials in Missouri from assisting in the enforcement of federal firearm laws that have no parallel under Missouri law. In other words, it requires them to focus on enforcing Missouri’s firearm laws, not those made in Washington, DC. Almost immediately after the law…

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VICTORY! Court of Appeals Orders St. Louis Circuit Attorney to Produce Public Records

VICTORY! Court of Appeals Orders St. Louis Circuit Attorney to Produce Public Records

After two years of litigating against St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner on behalf of acclaimed journalist John Solomon, the Freedom Center notched an important victory for government transparency. Solomon had requested all records showing Gardner’s communications with a range of influential people, including George Soros and other prominent left-leaning donors, in the days before she filed criminal charges against former governor Eric Greitens. Gardner initially didn’t respond at all, then refused to produce any of the requested records. The…

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Federal Judge: City may limit Good Samaritans’ ability to feed the homeless

Federal Judge: City may limit Good Samaritans’ ability to feed the homeless

A federal judge in St. Louis has ruled that St. Louis may punish Good Samaritans for providing meals to the homeless unless those Good Samaritans first comply with the same costly and burdensome regulations that govern restaurants and grocery stores. The plaintiffs, Pastor Ray Redlich and his colleague, Chris Ohnimus, regularly seek out hungry neighbors on the streets of St. Louis, obeying their Christian faith’s command to provide food to those in need. As Ray and Chris told the court,…

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