A federal judge ruled today that the Ferguson-Florissant School District’s process for electing school board members violates the Voting Rights Act and can no longer continue until the process is changed. The decision today came in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri.
In December, the ACLU of Missouri filed a federal lawsuit against the Ferguson-Florissant School District, on behalf of the Missouri NAACP and African-American residents, charging that the district's electoral system locked African-Americans out of the political process through the at-large system that dilutes African-American voting strength.
“The ongoing effects of racial discrimination have long plagued the region, and the District in particular, have affected the ability of African Americans to participate equally in the political process,” wrote U.S. District Judge Rodney Sippel in the decision. Read the full press release.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri filed a lawsuit today against the mayor and city of Walnut Grove, Mo., on behalf of a resident who expressed displeasure with the mayor’s decision to shoot and kill a stray border collie that was caring for her puppies in September 2014.
After the incident, Walnut Grove resident Linda O’Toole spoke at a city meeting and started an online petition encouraging community members to contact Walnut Grove City Hall to demand that Walnut Grove Mayor Jim Cole resign and that public officials become more educated on modern methods of animal rescue.
Despite recent rulings that the Metropolitan Police Department of the City of St. Louis (SLMPD) must release certain investigative reports to the public, SLMPD has again withheld these open records and refused to give them to Curtis Farber. Because of this refusal violates the Sunshine Law, the ACLU of Missouri today filed suit against SLMPD on behalf of Mr. Farber.
“It should not take a lawsuit for a taxpayer to access this type of public information. Instead of continuing to assert a failed legal theory in order to keep public records secret, the department should embrace the transparency and accountability required by law,” explains Tony Rothert, Legal Director of the ACLU of Missouri. “It is beyond time for the police department to start following the law.”