ACLU

News Round-Up
9:32 am
Sun September 16, 2012

Morning headlines: Sunday, September 16, 2012

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Judge to consider claims of Mo. death row inmate

This week a special judge appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court will start taking another look at evidence used to convict Reggie Clemmons of murder in 1991.  

Yesterday a coalition of local and international activist held a pre-hearing rally in support of Clemmons at Kiener Plaza in St. Louis. 

President of the St. Louis branch of the NAACP, Adolphus Pruitt, said there are lingering questions about the evidence used to convict Clemmons.   

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Morning Roundup
9:23 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Morning Headlines: Tuesday, September 11, 2012

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

We recognize today as the anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Please see our resources for stories related to that commemoration here.

Mo. judge to hear case against worship disruption law

A federal judge will hear arguments today in a lawsuit over Missouri's new law making it a crime to disturb a worship service.

Attorneys for the ACLU are seeking a temporary injunction to block the law that took effect last month.

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Religion/Law
5:50 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

New Mo. law on disturbing worship challenged with ACLU lawsuit

Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. Under a new Missouri law, it is a misdemeanor to intentionally disrupt a house of worship. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit challenging the law.
(via Flickr/kat93117)

A federal lawsuit is seeking to block a new Missouri law making it a crime to disturb a worship service.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday by attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union claims the law is illegally vague and will infringe on free-speech rights guaranteed by the U.S. and Missouri constitutions.

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Amendment Two
8:30 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

ACLU lawsuit challenges part of Amendment Two

Albrecht Dürer Wikimedia Commons

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a class action lawsuit late this afternoon that takes issue with part of Amendment Two, which deals with prayer and religious expression in Missouri.  

Amendment Two specifically protects public prayer and lets students avoid assignments that violate their religious beliefs.

Tony Rothert, legal director for the ACLU’s eastern Missouri division, said the lawsuit is focused on this specific phrase:

This section shall not be construed to expand the rights of prisoners in state or local custody beyond those afforded by the laws of the United States.

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House of Worship Protection Act
7:11 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Bill sent to Gov. Nixon would criminalize disturbance of worship services in Mo.

A house of worship in Jefferson City, Mo.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Among the 115 bills sent to Governor Jay Nixon (D) this year is one that would make it a crime to deliberately disturb worship services in Missouri.

The measure would make it a misdemeanor to use, “profane discourse, rude or indecent behavior,” or make loud disruptive noises within or just outside a public or private building where a worship service is being held.  It was sponsored by Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter).

“It’s important for citizens here in Missouri to have their First Amendment rights protected," Mayer said.  "There (have) been instances across the country where there have been actual disturbances in churches and synagogues.”

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ACLU / Franklin County
9:27 am
Wed May 23, 2012

ACLU sues Franklin County over prayers at meetings

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing an eastern Missouri county in an effort to halt prayers at county commission meetings.

The Washington Missourian reports that the suit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in St. Louis by the ACLU on behalf of an anonymous resident of Franklin County. It alleges that the commission begins meetings with a prayer in violation of the U.S. and Missouri constitutions.

Local Control
5:46 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Judge upholds summary for St. Louis police local control measure

The logo of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department on the side of a patrol car.
(St. Louis Public Radio File Photo)

A Missouri judge has upheld a ballot summary for an initiative that would grant St. Louis local control over its police force.

The St. Louis police department currently is overseen by a board consisting of the mayor and four appointees of the governor.

Cole County Circuit Judge Pat Joyce ruled Thursday that the summary prepared by Secretary of State Robin Carnahan's office fairly and impartially describes the measure, which supporters are trying to get on the November ballot.

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Local Control
11:22 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Positions entrench over local control at public safety forum

Police Chief Dan Isom speaks before the St. Louis City Board of Alderman at a public safety forum Thursday.

Both sides of the debate on how St. Louis would handle local control of its police department are digging in their heels over issues of public oversight and transparency.

At a Board of Alderman community forum last night, critics argued that language on a proposed ballot initiative would preclude the department from a civilian review board and restrict public access to disciplinary records. 

John Chasnoff is a program director for the ACLU, which supports local control but is suing to block the initiative.

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ACLU / City of St. Louis
3:01 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

ACLU files suit against city of St. Louis over jail records

(via Flickr/neil conway)

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed suit against the city of St. Louis, asking a judge to make the city turn over jail records related to inmate grievances.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the suit filed Wednesday accuses the city's corrections division of ignoring repeated requests over the past four months for records under the Missouri Sunshine Law.

The suit seeks an injunction forcing release of the records. It also asks the judge to find the city in violation of the law and to impose civil penalties.

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Morning round-up
9:26 am
Tue January 10, 2012

Morning headlines: Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Some Republican lawmakers are at odds with members of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's administration over whether Missouri's job-creation tax breaks have been a success or failure.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Some Republicans at odds with Nixon over state's job-creation tax breaks

Some Republican lawmakers are at odds with members of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's administration over whether Missouri's job-creation tax breaks have been a success or failure. During a House committee hearing Monday, figures showed a wide gap between the number of jobs anticipated and those actually created by businesses approved for aid under the Missouri Quality Jobs program. 

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