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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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Briefing Completed in Suspicionless Stops Appeal

Briefing Completed in Suspicionless Stops Appeal

Several months ago the Freedom Center began its appeal in our Suspicionless Stops case, in which we are challenging a state law that allows certain law enforcement officials to randomly stop almost any vehicle and driver, anywhere and at any time along a state highway or interstate, “with or without probable cause” to believe that the vehicle or driver are in violation of any laws.  Today we filed the last of the briefs in this appeal, and we wanted to make…

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Good News for Government Transparency!

Good News for Government Transparency!

Last year the Freedom Center of Missouri expanded its mission to include not only constitutional litigation, but also litigation under this state’s Sunshine Law, which guarantees citizens the right to obtain open public records and to attend – and record! – open public meetings of government entities.  The Freedom Center’s Director of Litigation, Dave Roland, had already been handling several Sunshine Law cases, and the Freedom Center recently adopted four of those.  That is why we are very pleased to…

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Merry Christmas From the Freedom Center of Missouri

Merry Christmas From the Freedom Center of Missouri

Dear Friend of the Freedom Center, Christmas is just days away, and here at the Freedom Center we are eager to celebrate the birth of Jesus and the promise of love, peace, and redemption that He brought into the world.  We hope that this season will find you and your family happy, healthy, and hopeful about the potential for the coming New Year! We are also celebrating an early Christmas gift from St. Louis media in the form of excellent coverage…

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Blooming Ridiculous, Phase Three: The Duffners’ Challenge to the Turf Grass Mandate Moves to Federal Court

Blooming Ridiculous, Phase Three: The Duffners’ Challenge to the Turf Grass Mandate Moves to Federal Court

On Monday December 19, 2016, the Freedom Center of Missouri began Round Three of its battle to end the unconstitutional Turf Grass Mandate in the City of St. Peters, re-filing the case in federal court. The move was necessitated because, even after the Missouri Court of Appeals admonished St. Charles County Circuit Judge Daniel Pelikan for improperly dismissing Carl and Janice Duffner’s constitutional challenge, Judge Pelikan refused to let the Duffners present their claims under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments…

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Appellate Brief Filed To End Suspicionless Vehicle Stops

Appellate Brief Filed To End Suspicionless Vehicle Stops

Today the Freedom Center filed a brief at the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in our Suspicionless Stops case. The judgment we are appealing ruled that because professional commercial truckers are subject to extensive regulation, the Fourth Amendment allows law enforcement officers to randomly pull over and inspect almost any vehicle driving on Missouri’s highways and interstates – even if the drivers and vehicles are not involved in the professional commercial trucking industry, and even if the officer has no…

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Federal Judge: Fourth Amendment Does Not Protect Drivers From Suspicionless Stops

Federal Judge: Fourth Amendment Does Not Protect Drivers From Suspicionless Stops

On July 28, 2016, Judge Stephen Limbaugh ruled that the Fourth Amendment does not prevent Missouri Highway Patrol officers from pulling over any vehicle, at any time, and at any place in the state, even if the officer has no reason to believe the driver or vehicle are in violation of any laws. “The U.S. Supreme Court has never authorized law enforcement officials to conduct roving, suspicionless stops of drivers,” explained Dave Roland, director of litigation for the Freedom Center…

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Missouri Supreme Court: Voters’ Rights Not Burdened By Limiting Their Choice To Only One Candidate

Missouri Supreme Court: Voters’ Rights Not Burdened By Limiting Their Choice To Only One Candidate

In a sharply divided 4-3 opinion the Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that the only choice listed on the ballot for voters in the State House District 76 will be their incumbent State Representative, Joshua Peters. Peters had been facing competition from political activist Rachel Johns, but Peters sued to have his opposition removed from the ballot, arguing that when the election takes place this fall Johns will only have been a registered voter for twenty-one months and state law…

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PRESS RELEASE: Protecting the Right to Protest

PRESS RELEASE: Protecting the Right to Protest

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:    April 8, 2016 CONTACT:  Dave Roland PROTECTING THE RIGHT TO PROTEST: Candidate Challenges Laws That Keep Political Protesters Off Election Ballots Mexico, Missouri—In 1999 the U.S. Supreme Court held that refusing to register to vote is an expressive act protected by the First Amendment because “there are those individuals for whom the choice not to register to vote implicates political thought and expression.”  Rachel Johns is one of those individuals. “In 2014, as an African American…

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To Fix a Broken Standard

To Fix a Broken Standard

  Missouri is facing an unusual problem. On the one hand, the state supreme court has held that laws affecting fundamental rights must be reviewed under the “strict scrutiny” standard.  Ordinarily this would be excellent news, because strict scrutiny is supposed to represent the very highest level of judicial protection for constitutional rights. This standard requires the court applying it to (1) presume that a law restricting a constitutional right is unconstitutional, (2) requires the government to present a compelling…

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