Congratulations, You Won! Now Pay Up.

Congratulations, You Won! Now Pay Up.

On paper, Missouri’s Sunshine Law offers hope that if a citizen can prove in court that the government unlawfully denied a citizen’s access to public records or a public meeting, the citizen might recover the expenses they incurred associated with the lawsuit as well as limited civil penalties.  In practice, however, it is very, very rare for courts to award expenses or civil penalties – although it does sometimes occur, as in our Cole County Prosecuting Attorney case.  To win…

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Historic Victory in Government Transparency Campaign

Historic Victory in Government Transparency Campaign

The Freedom Center of Missouri and client, Aaron Malin, are now four-for-four winning trial court judgments that various government entities are obligated to comply with the state’s Sunshine Law.  The most recent victory, however, was a record-breaker. After the Freedom Center and its co-counsel from the ACLU of Missouri proved that Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson knowingly and purposefully refused to comply with the Sunshine Law—even after Freedom Center director of litigation Dave Roland sent a letter informing Richardson of…

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VICTORY: Eighth Circuit Revives Fourth Amendment Challenge to Suspicionless Vehicle Stops

VICTORY: Eighth Circuit Revives Fourth Amendment Challenge to Suspicionless Vehicle Stops

P.O. Box 693            Mexico, Missouri            www.mofreedom.org              (314) 604-6621 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                     CONTACT:  Dave Roland August 7, 2017                                                                                                       (314) 604-6621   Eighth Circuit Revives Missouri Rancher’s Challenge to Suspicionless Vehicle Stops   Mexico, Missouri—The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals today revived a lawsuit in which Ron Calzone, a rancher and small businessman who lives in the country near Rolla, Missouri, is challenging a Missouri law that allows highway patrol officers to seize and search vehicles even if…

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If You’re Just Learning About the Freedom Center

If You’re Just Learning About the Freedom Center

Recent publicity has resulted in a spike in the number of people trying to learn about the Freedom Center of Missouri and the work that we do.  If you’re one of the folks just now hearing about our work, we’re glad you’re checking out our website.  The “About Us” section will give a general overview of our mission, our staff, and our Board of Directors, but in this post we wanted to highlight several of the successes we’ve seen over…

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Come Hear Scott Bullock, President of the Institute for Justice, In Kansas City

Come Hear Scott Bullock, President of the Institute for Justice, In Kansas City

The Freedom Center is proud to announce that our friend, nationally-renowned public interest attorney Scott Bullock, will be coming to Missouri to explain the power of public interest litigation.  At 6:30 p.m. on August 10, 2017, Bullock will give a speech entitled “Public Interest Law: Justice for All” at the Kansas City Public Library’s Plaza Branch.  This event is open to the public – we hope to see you there!

Extended Thoughts on the Police Officer’s Suit Against Black Lives Matter

Extended Thoughts on the Police Officer’s Suit Against Black Lives Matter

Last week a Baton Rouge police officer wounded in an ambush that killed three officers and wounded two others filed a lawsuit, Officer John Doe Smith v. Black Lives Matter, et al., claiming that Black Lives Matter, and several of its most prominent activists, should be held liable for the injuries he suffered.  Over the weekend a journalist asked Dave for comment on the lawsuit, which has resulted in his being quoted by PBS NewsHour (twice), the Washington Post, and the Atlantic.  By necessity,…

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U.S. Supreme Court Rules That First Amendment Prohibits State Constitutions From Requiring Religious Discrimination

U.S. Supreme Court Rules That First Amendment Prohibits State Constitutions From Requiring Religious Discrimination

In a landmark 7-2 decision, the United States Supreme Court has ruled in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer that the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment forbids states to categorically exclude persons or organizations from government benefits simply because the persons or organizations happen to be religious.  The case involved Article I, Section 7 of the Missouri Constitution, which the state had interpreted to preclude a church in Columbia, Missouri, from being considered for a state-funded grant that would offset…

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Dave Discusses Most Important Religious Liberty Case in a Generation

Dave Discusses Most Important Religious Liberty Case in a Generation

In just a few weeks the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hand down a decision in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer, the most important religious liberty case it has considered in nearly three decades – and a case that originated right here in Missouri.  The question before the Court is: “Does the First Amendment allow governments to discriminate against religious organizations for no reason other than that they are religious?” The way the Supreme Court answers this question will have…

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The Freedom Center Is Swinging For The Fences!

The Freedom Center Is Swinging For The Fences!

Dear Friend of the Freedom Center, As I write this I am both exhausted and exhilarated. Last Thursday Ron Calzone and I were at the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, where the Freedom Center argued in favor of a very simple constitutional principle: The Fourth Amendment prohibits law enforcement officers from pulling people over unless the officer has an articulable and reasonable suspicion that the vehicle or its occupants are in violation of a law. This idea shouldn’t be…

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Cole County Judge To Hear Government Transparency Case

Cole County Judge To Hear Government Transparency Case

As we recently announced, the Freedom Center is taking on a number of cases aimed at ensuring that government entities in Missouri remain transparent and accountable to the people.  On March 10, 2017, one of those cases will go to trial in Jefferson City. In 2014, Aaron Malin was researching how Missouri’s multi-jurisdictional drug task forces use the extraordinary authority and taxpayer money that the state has given them.  He relied on the state’s Sunshine Law to ask many of…

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