William H. Freivogel | St. Louis Public Radio

William H. Freivogel

William H. Freivogel is director of the School of Journalism at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a professor at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. Previously, he worked for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for 34 years, serving as assistant Washington Bureau Chief and deputy editorial editor. He covered the U.S. Supreme Court while in Washington. He is a graduate of Kirkwood High School, Stanford University and Washington University Law School. He is a member of the Missouri Bar.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Writing about Kirkwood after the City Hall shootings has been intensely personal. My wife and I grew up in Kirkwood, live there now and have lived there a majority of our lives.

People I've interviewed for this and previous stories are friends. David Holley, the principal at Kirkwood High School until recently, was on my Khoury League team.  First his dad was coach, then mine. We'd always lose to another team whose pitcher, the older brother of Charles "Cookie" Thornton, pitched the ball about twice as hard as I. (Click here to read the story about the fifth anniversary of the shooting in Kirkwood.)

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 5, 2013 - Writing about Kirkwood after the City Hall shootings has been intensely personal. My wife and I grew up in Kirkwood, live there now and have lived there a majority of our lives.

People I've interviewed for this and previous stories are friends. David Holley, the principal at Kirkwood High School until recently, was on my Khoury League team. First his dad was coach, then mine. We'd always lose to another team whose pitcher, the older brother of Charles "Cookie" Thornton, pitched the ball about twice as hard as I.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 14, 2013 - Twenty-five years ago, on Jan. 13 1988, the U.S. Supreme Court announced a devastating blow to student speech and the student press when it validated the authority of the principal of Hazelwood East High School to remove controversial stories about teen pregnancy and divorce from the school newspaper over student objections.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 28, 2012 - Mine public information from data bases; present it in an interactive map and provide a fresh, local angle on a big national story: Publishing that sort of information sounds like a no-brainer, particularly when the story is the biggest one in the nation - the murder of 27 people, including 20 elementary school children in Newtown, Ct.

But the decision of the Journal News of White Plains, N.Y., to publish the names and addresses of thousands of handgun permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties has proved to be anything but a no-brainer. White Plains is about 50 miles from Newtown.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 17, 2012 - The chances are that the U.S. Supreme Court will strike down the federal law discriminating against couples in same-sex marriages without giving gay marriage the kind of constitutional imprimatur that would require the entire nation to adopt it.

That is the view of many legal scholars in the wake of last week's decision by the court to hear two cases that raise the issue of same-sex marriage.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 11, 2012 - A federal appeals court in Chicago has thrown out Illinois' law against concealed weapons, concluding that there is a Second Amendment right for citizens to carry weapons on the street for self-defense.

The 2-1 decision would expand gun rights beyond those recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court four years ago in District of Columbia vs. Heller, when the court ruled that the Second Amendment protected the right of people to have a gun in their home for their safety.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 3, 2012 - Bob Hoemeke was every journalist's favorite lawyer. He tried to get information into the newspaper instead of keeping it out.

Hoemeke, the most prominent media lawyer in Missouri during the last decades of the last century, died on Wednesday (Nov. 28) of the effects of Parkinson's disease. He was 77.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 30, 2012 - For the time being at least, Chicago police cannot arrest citizens who audio tape police stops in public as part of an American Civil Liberties program scrutinizing police conduct.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 13, 2012If President Barack Obama has a chance to replace one of the five Republican-appointed justices on the U.S. Supreme Court, he could bring about significant constitutional change and create the most liberal Supreme Court since the famous Warren Court of the 1960s.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 29, 2012 - In something of a surprise, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether Monsanto Co.'s lucrative patent on Roundup Ready seeds extends to seeds that farmers purchase from grain elevators instead of Monsanto.

The court's agreement earlier this month to hear the case is surprising because the lower courts had ruled in Monsanto's favor and the Obama administration had told the court that it should not consider overturning that decision.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 26, 2012 - The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether a Missouri Highway patrolman had to obtain a search warrant before forcibly obtaining a blood sample from a drunk driving suspect. The Missouri Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that the patrolman's failure to obtain a warrant violated the suspect's fourth amendment right against unreasonable searches.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 18, 2012 - Anders Walker is a bright, funny young professor at Saint Louis University Law School. But one wonders if his education at Yale University or Duke Law School could have prepared him to debate the controversial Citizens United decision with the new dean, Tom Keefe.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 17, 2012 - Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. wrote a century ago that free speech didn't protect a person "falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic." Now some commentators are dusting off that memorable aphorism to suggest that the offensive film "Innocence of the Muslims" is not protected by the First Amendment.

The commentators are probably wrong.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 2, 2012 - Critics of the Supreme Court -- liberal and conservative -- often say the court should leave more room for elected bodies and the voters to decide important issues. That's exactly what the U.S. Supreme Court did when it upheld the Affordable Care Act last week.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 2, 2012 - Chief Justice John G. Roberts' opinion upholding the Affordable Care Act is an act of crafty judicial statesmanship that recalls important strategic Supreme Court decisions as far back as Marbury vs. Madison, the 1803 case that established the court's power to declare acts of Congress unconstitutional.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 29, 2012 - Surprise. If there is a single theme to the story of “Obamacare,” it is that surprises have lain in wait at every turn.

The biggest surprise may have been Thursday when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. Most of America expected the court to toss out the law after it had spent three days roughing up Solicitor General Donald Verrilli last spring.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 28, 2012 - The U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Barack Obama's health-care law in a narrow 5-4 decision, with Chief Justice John Roberts providing the deciding vote. At the same time, the court put limits on some of Congress' most potent powers — its power to regulate commerce and to attach conditions to federal funding.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 26, 2012 - The road to limiting the severity of the punishments for juveniles convicted of murder runs through Missouri.

In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a case from Missouri -- Simmons vs. Roper -- that juveniles could not be executed for murder because it amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 25, 2012 - The U.S. Supreme Court struck down three key provisions of Arizona's immigration law on Monday, reaffirming the federal government's preeminence in immigration matters and giving President Barack Obama a victory in a bitterly contested case. States can't make it a state crime for an undocumented immigrant to live in the state or to work or seek a job. But Arizona may be able to require a person to present papers, such as a driver's license, during a police stop.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 11, 2012 - The Missouri Supreme Court's decision striking down part of Missouri's cyberbullying law leaves few if any instances in which the law can be applied, legal experts say.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 26, 2012 - The Illinois General Assembly is working to change the state's eavesdropping law to allow citizens to record police and other public officials in public. Currently, audiotaping without the permission of everyone involved in a conversation is a felony in Illinois.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 7, 2012 - No matter how expert the lawyer or the health professional or the political analyst, no one knows how the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on the Affordable Care Act or what impact the ruling will have on health care or the presidential race.

When the law passed, almost all constitutional experts said it was clearly constitutional.  Certainly, they said, Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce includes health care, which is one-sixth of the economy.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 6, 2012 - For a time late last month, Rush Limbaugh succeeded in abusing copyright law to get YouTube to take down a Daily Kos video stringing together the insulting remarks he made about Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown law student who became a featured player in the contraception controversy a few months back.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 30, 2012 - Last week, the Missouri House passed a bill that the sponsor calls the Whistleblower Protection Act. The law actually removes protections from whistleblowers rather than enacting them. This is the latest version of a bill commonly called the Enterprise Rent-A-Car bill because the Clayton firm has been lobbying to weaken whistleblower protections for the past six years. Earlier versions of the bill have passed but been vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 21, 2012 - Harriet Patton, the leader of Meacham Park community in Kirkwood, says that a neighborhood celebration Saturday is a time to “move ahead” and “look to the future,” turning the page on the past.

For Patton and for the community, it could be a significant shift in emphasis. Patton, president of the Meacham Park Neighborhood Improvement Association, often has been at odds with the leadership at City Hall. She opposed Kirkwood’s controversial redevelopment of the mostly black neighborhood in the 1990s and criticized as insufficient the reconciliation efforts that followed the 2008 City Hall shootings by Charles Lee “Cookie” Thornton.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 6, 2012 - The U.S. Supreme Court's recent 5-4 ruling upholding the strip search of a man who had been mistakenly arrested has drawn some interesting critiques.

Bruce La Pierre, a law professor at Washington University, noted in an email that 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis showed more concern in a 2008 decision about the rights of a person in custody than did Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion last Monday.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 6, 2012 - British journalists seem to have been reading too many Stieg Larsson's books about the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in which investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist gets his best information from computer hacking.

Sky News, part-owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, admitted to the Guardian newspaper that it authorized a journalist to hack into emails to pursue at least two stories. Sky News went on to defend its action as "editorially justified and in the public interest."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 30, 2012 - At times, the six hours of oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court on the national health care law seemed like theater of the absurd.

During a very difficult day on Tuesday defending the individual mandate, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli almost seemed to muse aloud about the absurdity of his situation. He called it an irony that the opponents of the law said it was such a novel use of government power and an abuse of power.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 30, 2012 - The U.S. Supreme Court meets Friday to take its first vote on whether to strike down one of the most important pieces of social and economic legislation passed by Congress in the past half century — the Affordable Care Act.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 28, 2012 - When the third and final day of U.S. Supreme Court arguments on the federal health care law had ended on Wednesday, at least one thing seemed certain: All four justices appointed by Democratic presidents would vote to uphold the law, and all five justices appointed by Republican presidents had serious questions about both the law's individual mandate to buy health insurance and its expansion of Medicaid.

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