VICTORY: Federal Judge Will Rule On Whether St. Louis County May Block Minor Parties, Independent Candidates From Ballot

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A few weeks after the Freedom Center filed suit against St. Louis County for denying Cindy Redburn and the Constitution Party of Missouri a place on a recent special election ballot, the County and its Board of Election Commissioners jointly agreed to a court order that would put Redburn and the Constitution Party on the ballot and would also allow the plaintiffs’ First Amendment challenge to go forward.

Curiously, however, just ten days after signing on to that agreed order, St. Louis County filed with the court a motion asking Judge Ronnie White to throw out the case, arguing that the Plaintiffs had been given everything they had asked for in their lawsuit.  This plainly was not true because the Plaintiffs had asked for a ruling that St. Louis County could not constitutionally exclude third-parties and independent candidates from the ballot, and they had not (yet) gotten such an order.  The Freedom Center filed arguments on the Plaintiffs’ behalf, explaining why Judge White should proceed to address the constitutional substance of the Plaintiffs’ complaint.

Today, after four months’ worth of consideration, Judge White issued a seven-page order (below) denying the County’s effort to avoid accountability for its discriminatory, anti-democratic policy.  Judge White accepted the Freedom Center’s arguments about the continuing importance of the matters the Plaintiffs brought before the Court and ruled that the case should proceed so Judge White can rule on the important First Amendment questions that the case presents.