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Author: Dave

Sometimes Victory Means Avoiding Litigation

Sometimes Victory Means Avoiding Litigation

The Freedom Center’s primary goal is to help shape our legal landscape by winning victories in the courtroom.  But sometimes we can score victories without ever needing to file a lawsuit.  We have a brand-new story to share about just such a victory. A few weeks ago Jerry Dollar, a resident of St. Louis County, let us know that the St. Louis County Police Department was refusing to return a handful of lawfully-obtained, lawfully-owned firearms that it had confiscated from…

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Briefing Completed in Cutting Edge First Amendment Case

Briefing Completed in Cutting Edge First Amendment Case

On December 21, 2017, the Freedom Center of Missouri and our co-counsel at the Institute for Free Speech filed our final brief on behalf of Ron Calzone in our Citizen Activist Speech case.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to hear oral arguments in this case early next year – we will post an announcement when the court sets the date for those arguments. Last month we shared a video in which Ron explains the importance of this case,…

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Ron Calzone Explains Our Citizen Activist Speech Case

Ron Calzone Explains Our Citizen Activist Speech Case

In the above video, Ron Calzone explains in his own words the basis and critical importance of our Citizen Activist Free Speech case.  This case involves a Missouri statute that requires citizen activists to register as lobbyists and (under threat of huge fines and criminal penalties) to file regular reports with the government regarding efforts to talk to government officials about public policy – even if no one is paying the activist to speak on their behalf.  The Missouri Ethics…

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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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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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