A new wrinkle to the school transfer story today. The ACLU of Eastern Missouri sent a letter to the superintendents of Mehlville and Kirkwood schools asking them to reconsider their decision to place limits on the number of transfers they will accept from Riverview Gardens.
ACLU Executive Director Jeffrey Mittman argues that all students are guaranteed an education.
"There cannot be arbitrary government action that would limit that right", Mittman says,"so for example, you cannot say there is a date cutoff by which you need to make that selection, or a lottery that would limit the right of students to attend the accredited school that their families select."
Mittman says the ACLU is not issuing a mandate to the districts, but says the letter is intended to open a dialogue with school officials.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The ACLU of Illinois says the state's abortion notification law will go into effect in 35 days.
The Illinois Supreme Court issued a ruling Thursday that ended a lengthy and emotionally charged legal battle of a 1995 law that's never been enforced. It requires doctors to notify a girl's parents of her abortion 48 hours before the procedure. It applies to girls 17 and younger.
The ACLU represented the southeastern Illinois clinic and the director of the University of Illinois at Chicago's Center for Reproductive Health in the case.
The group says the measure "jeopardizes the health and safety of young women."
The ACLU says it will spend the next weeks working with health care providers and lawyers to counsel girls.
The Ku Klux Klan is challenging a new Desloge, Missouri ordinance that bans them from distributing flyers in city streets.
A judge has already struck down a city wide ban on distributing leaflets that the Klan had fought with the help of the ACLU. Tony Rothert, legal director for the ACLU's Eastern District of Missouri says the Supreme Court has long held that handing out leaflets is protected by the First Amendment.
Rothert says that neither he, nor the ACLU agrees with the KKK`s message, just their right to share it. "We think it’s important for all Americans that they be able to distribute literature to get their ideas out in peaceful ways and let the market place of ideas debate who’s right,” he said.
Rother has suggested the that the city's new ordinance is an attempt to get around the earlier judges ruling.
Desloge city administrator Greg Camp says that's not true. Camp says, it's never been a question of First Amendment rights. "Regardless of the message, we have to respect the fact that everyone has the right to free speech," he said. "The concern is for people being in the road."
Camp says the city consulted with an attorney before crafting the new measure, and they believe it will hold up in court.
The city has until Monday (May 6th) to respond to the ACLU's new complaint.
Desloge is about 60 miles south of St. Louis.
ST. PETERS, Mo. (AP) - A lawsuit filed Monday by the American Civil Liberties Union claims that the free-speech rights of a Ron Paul delegate were violated when he was arrested outside a Republican caucus in suburban St. Louis last year.
Brent Stafford of O'Fallon was part of the St. Charles County Republican Central Committee caucus on March 17, 2012, that grew so testy it was canceled. Stafford was arrested outside the high school gym where the caucus was held as he tried to gather other supporters of Ron Paul. He was charged with trespassing but later acquitted by a St. Peters municipal judge.
The suit names the city of St. Peters and the arresting officer, Tim Hickey. It seeks unspecified monetary damages.
Messages seeking comment from the city of St. Peters were not returned.
The ACLU sued Missouri's Department of Corrections on behalf of two inmates after voters approved the amendment in August. It argued the measure's ballot summary did not explain how the amendment would impact prisoners. A provision in the amendment says the religious rights of inmates are limited to federal law, which provides fewer protections than Missouri law.
U.S. Judge Howard Sachs dismissed the case in February. An ACLU official says the group hasn't decided whether to appeal this case or wait for another lawsuit.
The amendment is more widely known for protecting public prayer and letting students avoid assignments that violate their religious beliefs.