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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Happy Birthday, Missouri Constitution!

Happy Birthday, Missouri Constitution!

On July 19, 1820, Missouri’s first Constitutional Convention signed and adopted the state’s first constitution. With the foundational document of statehood thus in place, Missouri elected its first state government and federal Congressional representatives in the fall of 1820, although Congress refused formally to recognize Missouri’s admission to the Union until August 10, 1821. In the intervening two centuries Missourians have drafted several other constitutions, actually adopting new ones in 1865, 1875, and 1945. Several years ago the Freedom Center’s…

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St. Louis Lawsuit Against Second Amendment Preservation Act is Totally Baseless

St. Louis Lawsuit Against Second Amendment Preservation Act is Totally Baseless

The Missouri state legislature recently passed (and Governor Parson quickly signed) HB 85, the Second Amendment Preservation Act, a bill designed to ensure that state and local law enforcement in Missouri are focused on enforcing gun laws passed by our own lawmakers in Jefferson City, not the folks in Washington, DC. Opponents of this bill have loudly and repeatedly claimed that SAPA is unconstitutional… but most have declined to offer any legal analysis that would actually support these claims. At…

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NEW CASE: Freedom Center Challenges St. Louis City’s Requirement That Political Candidates Must Own Private Property

NEW CASE: Freedom Center Challenges St. Louis City’s Requirement That Political Candidates Must Own Private Property

As seems to happen every few years, candidates for political office are once again trying to knock their opponents off the ballot – this time for the Democratic Primary for nomination to serve on the St. Louis City Board of Aldermen. In one particular case, incumbent Third Ward Alderman Brandon Bosley is arguing that his opponent, Herdosia Bentum, should be removed from the ballot either because she has not for the past two years been an “assessed taxpayer of the city” or…

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NEW CASE: Government Watchdog Sues City for Banning Her From City Hall

NEW CASE: Government Watchdog Sues City for Banning Her From City Hall

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                      CONTACT:               Dave Roland November 10, 2020                                                                                          (314) 604-6621 Government Watchdog Sues City for Banning Her From City Hall Mexico, Missouri—Rebecca Varney worked so hard to keep the local government in Edgar Springs, Missouri, transparent and accountable to the community that the government banned her from City Hall. In a new lawsuit filed by the Freedom Center of Missouri, Varney has decided to fight “City Hall” for the right to…

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VICTORY: Boone County Produces Records, Pays Court Costs

VICTORY: Boone County Produces Records, Pays Court Costs

P.O. Box 693      Mexico, Missouri      www.mofreedom.org        (314) 604-6621 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                            CONTACT:               Dave RolandAugust 27, 2020                                                                                    (314) 604-6621 Mexico, Missouri— Just two months after​ the Freedom Center of Missouri ​filed a lawsuit on behalf of the family of Ahmonta Harris, a Columbia community activist ​who​ was killed in November of 2018​, ​Boone County has produced to the family audio and video recordings it had withheld from them for more than a year.  Although Missouri’s Sunshine Law gives family members…

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Activist’s Family Sues Boone County to Obtain Records Related to His Death

Activist’s Family Sues Boone County to Obtain Records Related to His Death

P.O. Box 693 Mexico, Missouri www.mofreedom.org (314) 604-6621 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                            CONTACT:               Dave Roland June 30, 2020                                                                                        (314) 604-6621 Despite a Missouri state law that gives family members the right to obtain “complete unaltered and unedited” copies of records involved in the investigation of a death, Boone County has for months refused to produce audio and video recordings related to the death of Ahmonta Harris, a Columbia community activist who was killed in…

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Missouri Courts Must Uphold Citizens’ Right to Possess Firearms for Defensive Purposes

Missouri Courts Must Uphold Citizens’ Right to Possess Firearms for Defensive Purposes

In 2014, Missouri voters passed Amendment 5, which updated Article I, Section 23 of the Missouri Constitution, which protects “the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms, ammunition, and accessories typical to the normal function of such arms, in defense of his home, person, family and property[.]” The amendment was explicitly designed to give this right the most extensive protections possible, requiring courts to subject to “strict scrutiny” any restriction on citizens’ rights of self-defense, and obligating the…

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U.S. Supreme Court Will Consider Whether to Review Suspicionless Stops Case [[UPDATED]]

U.S. Supreme Court Will Consider Whether to Review Suspicionless Stops Case [[UPDATED]]

On June 3, 2013, Ron Calzone was driving his farm truck to gather gravel for his daughter’s chicken coop when a Missouri State Highway Patrol officer pulled him over. Had Calzone been speeding? Did he change lanes improperly? No. The officer admitted that he had not observed any violation of the law. So why had he pulled Calzone over? Because he could. Missouri law authorizes highway patrol officers to stop and inspect almost any kind of vehicle on Missouri’s highways…

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VICTORY: Eighth Circuit Rules First Amendment Protects Citizen Activists’ Speech

VICTORY: Eighth Circuit Rules First Amendment Protects Citizen Activists’ Speech

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 1, 2019 CONTACT:  Dave Roland, (314)604-6621 Eighth Circuit: First Amendment Protects Unpaid Activists Who Share Policy Ideas With Legislators Nearly three years ago the Missouri Ethics Commission ordered Ron Calzone, an unpaid grassroots activist, to pay a $1,000 fine and prohibited him from discussing policy with lawmakers until he registered and filed reports as though he was a professional “lobbyist.” Because the First Amendment guarantees the freedom to share one’s policy ideas with public officials, Calzone…

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