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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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Eighth Circuit: Farmers Surrender Fourth Amendment Rights When Driving Their Own Trucks

Eighth Circuit: Farmers Surrender Fourth Amendment Rights When Driving Their Own Trucks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                         CONTACT: Dave Roland July 26, 2019                                                                                          (573) 567-0307 Eighth Circuit: Farmers Surrender Fourth Amendment Rights When Driving Their Own Trucks Mexico, Missouri—Today a three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a person surrenders their Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures simply by getting behind the wheel of any vehicle the state defines as a “commercial vehicle” – and that this applies to farmers who…

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Eighth Circuit Refuses to Address Constitutionality of Turf Grass Mandate

Eighth Circuit Refuses to Address Constitutionality of Turf Grass Mandate

BLOOMING RIDICULOUS: Eighth Circuit Refuses to Address Constitutionality of City Ordinance Forcing Widow with Grass Allergy to Grow Turf Grass Mexico, Missouri—Today a three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to address the question of whether a St. Louis suburb can force Janice Duffner to devote at least half of her yard to growing the very plant that makes her sick. The court also refused to address the question of whether the city could punish Mrs. Duffner…

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Freedom Center Challenges St. Louis City’s Brazen Defiance of Transparency

Freedom Center Challenges St. Louis City’s Brazen Defiance of Transparency

Tragedy struck Darla Nieder in October 2017 when her daughter fell victim to a double-murder in St. Louis City. In February 2018, desperate to learn whatever she could about her child’s death, Nieder exercised her right to request unredacted, unedited copies of records related to the investigation of her daughter’s death.  State law says that a law enforcement agency receiving such a request must within thirty days either produce the requested materials or file a motion with the circuit court…

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VICTORY: St. Louis County Drug Task Force Admits Violating Sunshine Law

VICTORY: St. Louis County Drug Task Force Admits Violating Sunshine Law

14779 Audrain Rd. 815            Mexico, Missouri            www.mofreedom.org              (573) 567-0307 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                      CONTACT:  Dave Roland April 19, 2019                                                                                                   (573) 567-0307 VICTORY: St. Louis County Admits Drug Task Force Violated Sunshine Law, Bringing Strategic Litigation Campaign to Successful Conclusion Mexico, Missouri—Late Friday afternoon St. Louis County Circuit Judge Thea Sherry signed a Consent Judgment approved by the parties in Malin v. St. Louis County Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force, et al. The Consent Judgment reflects the County’s…

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St. Louis City Forces Good Samaritans to Appear in Court, Unceremoniously Drops Charges

St. Louis City Forces Good Samaritans to Appear in Court, Unceremoniously Drops Charges

On October 31, an officer of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department gave citations to Ray Redlich and Chris Ohnimus. Their alleged offense? Giving sandwiches to the homeless. The citations required Redlich and Ohnimus to appear in St. Louis City Municipal Court on the morning of December 4, to face the charges against them. If either of the two failed to appear for this court date, the court could have issued warrants for their arrest and they would also have…

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Volunteers Are Lobbyists, Rules Eighth Circuit: Sharply Divided Panel Deals Severe Blow to the First Amendment

Volunteers Are Lobbyists, Rules Eighth Circuit: Sharply Divided Panel Deals Severe Blow to the First Amendment

Mexico, MO – Today, an Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled, 2-1, that unpaid citizen activists can be forced to comply with the same registration, reporting, and disclosure requirements as professional lobbyists working for large corporations. This decision is unprecedented and represents a significant strike against Americans’ First Amendment right “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  Ron Calzone is a citizen activist from Dixon, Missouri, who has for years traveled to the State Capitol to share his…

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Freedom Center’s Director of Litigation on Front Page of Time Magazine

Freedom Center’s Director of Litigation on Front Page of Time Magazine

A couple of months ago Dave Roland, the Freedom Center of Missouri’s director of litigation, was invited to take part in a special project by Time Magazine. French photographic artist JR would take pictures of a couple hundred people from all sides of the debate on firearms in America, then allow them – in their own words – to explain their perspective. The photographs would then be woven into an interactive mural. A still version of the mural would be…

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PRESS RELEASE: Court of Appeals Rules Task Force “Substantially Complied” with Sunshine Law, Despite Failure to Respond to Four Requests

PRESS RELEASE: Court of Appeals Rules Task Force “Substantially Complied” with Sunshine Law, Despite Failure to Respond to Four Requests

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  September 12, 2018 CONTACT:  Dave Roland Mexico, Missouri—In an unpublished opinion filed on September 11, 2018, in Malin v. MUSTANG, a panel of the Missouri Court of Appeals ruled that, although attorneys for the MUSTANG Task Force admitted that the Task Force had failed to offer any response to four separate requests for public records, the court would affirm a judgment stating that MUSTANG “complied or substantially complied” with the Sunshine Law. An unpublished opinion has no precedential…

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VICTORY: Circuit Judge Rules St. Louis City Officials Violated Sunshine Law

VICTORY: Circuit Judge Rules St. Louis City Officials Violated Sunshine Law

14779 Audrain Rd. 815            Mexico, Missouri            www.mofreedom.org              (573) 567-0307   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                     CONTACT:  Dave Roland July 19, 2018                                                                                                             (573) 567-0307   VICTORY: Circuit Judge Rules St. Louis City Officials Violated Sunshine Law   Mexico, Missouri—St. Louis City Circuit Judge Mark Neill ruled Wednesday afternoon in Malin v. Metro Multi-Jurisdictional Undercover Drug Program, et al., that St. Louis City officials committed multiple violations of Missouri’s open records laws when they failed to produce documents related to…

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