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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PRESS RELEASE: Missouri Supreme Court Defies Voters, Effectively Nullifies Amendment 5

PRESS RELEASE: Missouri Supreme Court Defies Voters, Effectively Nullifies Amendment 5

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:    February 9, 2016 CONTACT:  Dave Roland Missouri Supreme Court Defies Voters, Rules Amendment 5 “Worked No Substantial Change” in Missouri Constitution  Mexico, Missouri—By a 5-2 margin, a majority of the Missouri Supreme Court’s judges have effectively nullified a state constitutional amendment approved by more than sixty percent of voters in 2014.  Amendment 5, as the measure was known, made major textual changes to Article I, section 23 of the Missouri Constitution and was designed to establish the…

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VICTORY: St. Louis County Can No Longer Ban Minor Parties, Independent Candidates From Ballots

VICTORY: St. Louis County Can No Longer Ban Minor Parties, Independent Candidates From Ballots

St. Louis County officials may no longer ban minor parties and independent candidates from special election ballots. In an important victory for voters and candidates dissatisfied with the two major political parties, U.S. District Judge Ronnie White has signed an order that permanently prohibits the county and its election officials from enforcing a charter provision that limited voters’ choices to only candidates representing the two major political parties. Last January, the Constitution Party of Missouri attempted to nominate St. Louis…

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VICTORY: Missouri Court of Appeals Rules Challenge to Turf Grass Mandate May Continue

VICTORY: Missouri Court of Appeals Rules Challenge to Turf Grass Mandate May Continue

On January 12, 2016, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, issued an opinion ruling that the St. Charles County Circuit Court should not have dismissed Carl and Janice Duffner’s challenge to the validity of a municipal ordinance that requires homeowners to devote half of their property to growing plants designated by the city. The City of St. Peters threatens homeowners with both extraordinary financial penalties and jail time unless they obey the City’s demand to grow “turf grass” on at…

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Freedom Center Files Briefs In Support of Missourians’ Right of Self-Defense

Freedom Center Files Briefs In Support of Missourians’ Right of Self-Defense

A little more than one year ago more than sixty percent of Missouri voters approved an amendment to Article I, section 23 of the state constitution–but it remains to be seen if this state’s courts will honor the will of the people. The amendment the people adopted dramatically increased constitutional protections for citizens’ right to keep and bear arms, stating that (1) for the purposes of the Missouri Constitution the right to keep and bear arms includes the possession of…

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Missouri Supreme Court Renders Jefferson’s Words Meaningless

Missouri Supreme Court Renders Jefferson’s Words Meaningless

This weekend the United States is celebrating yet another anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, which rooted our nation in the principle that governments derive their just powers “from the consent of the governed,” and that people had “unalienable rights” not only to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but also to exercise control over their government.  Missourians should temper their celebrations, however, because according to a majority of the judges sitting on the Missouri Supreme Court those concepts…

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VICTORY: Federal Judge Will Rule On Whether St. Louis County May Block Minor Parties, Independent Candidates From Ballot

VICTORY: Federal Judge Will Rule On Whether St. Louis County May Block Minor Parties, Independent Candidates From Ballot

A few weeks after the Freedom Center filed suit against St. Louis County for denying Cindy Redburn and the Constitution Party of Missouri a place on a recent special election ballot, the County and its Board of Election Commissioners jointly agreed to a court order that would put Redburn and the Constitution Party on the ballot and would also allow the plaintiffs’ First Amendment challenge to go forward. Curiously, however, just ten days after signing on to that agreed order,…

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U.S. Supreme Court Hands Down Two Pro-Property Rights Decisions

U.S. Supreme Court Hands Down Two Pro-Property Rights Decisions

Today the U.S. Supreme Court handed down two cases that should help citizens protect themselves against government intrusion into their property rights. Los Angeles v. Patel asked whether the Fourth Amendment allows governments to pass a law that authorizes law enforcement to conduct searches of private property (specifically, hotel registers that include guest information) without either a warrant or any suspicion of wrongdoing.  In a 5-4 decision, the majority held that such a law is unconstitutional on its face if it…

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