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ACLU

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri has advised the superintendents of the Kirkwood and Mehlville schools that they have no legal basis to turn away any transfer students on the basis of class size or available space.

Ill. Law Requiring Doctors To Notify Parents Of Girls Before Abortions Will Now Be Enforced

Jul 11, 2013
(via Flickr/s_falkow)

Updated 11:08 a.m., 12:42 p.m., 3:19 p.m. (with reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Brian Mackey)

A lengthy legal battle over an abortion notification law appears to be ending, clearing the way for Illinois to begin enforcing a 1995 measure requiring doctors to notify a girl's parents before she undergoes the procedure.

Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court ruling says the case shouldn't be reconsidered and has to be enforced - unless there's an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Attorneys Ask For Quick Ruling In Illinois Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Jul 10, 2013
via Flickr/BluEyedA73

Twenty five same-sex couples want to see a quick verdict in their lawsuits regarding the Illinois gay marriage ban.

Attorneys representing the couples suing over the ban asked a judge Wednesday to rule through summary judgment. 

Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois filed a motion Wednesday for a judge to rule quickly in the couples’ favor.

ACLU Vows To Keep Fighting Missouri Prayer Amendment

Mar 7, 2013
Albrecht Dürer / Wikimedia Commons

The American Civil Liberties Union says it will keep fighting against Missouri's new constitutional amendment on prayer after a federal judge dismissed its initial lawsuit.
 

s_falkow | Flickr

Updated to correct spelling of Patti Hageman's name

A St. Louis taxi driver has filed a religious discrimination lawsuit against the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission, the City of St. Louis and Whelan Security.

Raja Naeem filed the lawsuit this morning following his Dec. 7 arrest at Lambert Airport.

New court fight underway over Ill. parental notice law

Sep 20, 2012
(via Flickr/lilhelen)

Brian Mackey contributed reporting for this story.

A decades-long battle over an Illinois law that requires girls to notify their parents before having an abortion was in front of the state's Supreme Court on Thursday.

The parental notification law has been on the books since the 1990s, but a series of federal and state court challenges have kept it from being enforced. It was supposed to take effect in 2006, which set off a fresh round of lawsuits.

Morning headlines: Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sep 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.   

Morning Headlines: Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sep 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.

New Mo. law on disturbing worship challenged with ACLU lawsuit

Aug 22, 2012
(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.

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.

Brenda Jones retiring from ACLU

Jul 24, 2012

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 24, 2012 - Brenda Jones, who has been executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri since 2008, will retire at the end of the year.

During her tenure, the staff of the ACLU chapter has more than doubled, to nine full-time members, and its operating budget has tripled. She also led efforts to raise the chapter’s public profile, increase public education and expand its legal work to programs on issues such as Muslim rights and police and prison accountability.

(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.”

ACLU sues Franklin County over prayers at meetings

May 23, 2012
(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.

(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.

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.

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

Jan 25, 2012
(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.

Morning headlines: Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Jan 10, 2012
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. 

ACLU challenges local police control initiative

Jan 9, 2012
(St. Louis Public Radio)

The American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri is challenging language on a ballot initiative that would transfer control of the St. Louis Police Department from the state to the city.

ACLU Regional Program Director John Chasnoff says the initiative's summary, as it would appear on the ballot, fails to explain how the new law would restrict public oversight and access to records.

(via Flickr/Neil Conway)

Two lawsuits involving the use of motorized wheelchairs in Missouri prisons have been settled.

Jeffrey Rogers and Andrew Madden are inmates at the Jefferson City Correctional Center.  They had filed suit because state Department of Corrections policy only allowed use of manual wheelchairs, and other inmates were assigned to push them around.  Tony Rothert is with the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

A lawsuit over access to LGBT-related websites at a mid-Missouri public school was heard today in federal court in Jefferson City.

The case involves filtering software used by the Camdenton R-3 school district’s library.  The suit was filed by Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and is backed by the American Civil Liberties Union.  Tony Rothert, Legal Director of the ACLU of Eastern Missouri, says the Camdenton Schools' library uses filtering software that blocks any mention of sex, not just pornography.

Appeals court strikes down Manchester funeral protest ban

Oct 5, 2011
(via Flickr/k763)

A federal appeals court has ruled against a Missouri town's funeral protest ordinance, saying peaceful picketing is protected by the right to free speech under the First Amendment.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld a district court ruling in favor of members of Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 27, 2011 - New changes to the bylaws of the ACLU of Eastern Missouri (ACLU-EM) have some members crying foul over what they see as a move away from the democratic principles of the organization.

Under the changes, the Mid-Missouri chapter representing Columbia and surrounding areas will no longer have its own executive committee or set of bylaws but instead will work under the authority and supervision of the ACLU-EM.

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The St. Louis City Justice Center

Talks between the American Civil Liberties Union and the city of St. Louis on an independent panel to oversee the city's jails have stalled.

The talks were prompted by a 2009 ACLU report that alleged abuse and medical neglect at the city's Medium Security Institution (more commonly known as the city workhouse) and at the higher-security City Justice Center.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 23, 2009 - In the wake of the arrest of a man distributing handbills against tax-increment financing for a north St. Louis development project, the ACLU has filed suit in federal court challenging a St. Louis law that bans such leafleting.

The suit seeks an injunction against enforcement of a law that states:

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 24, 2009 - The St. Louis Police Department has apologized to protesters for "extended detentions," property damage and unwarranted "infringement of civil liberties" during the 2003 World Agriculture Forum in St. Louis. The apology was announced Monday by the American Civil Liberties Union, which had sued on behalf of protesters who claimed the city illegally searched homes and locked them up to keep them from demonstrating.

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