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Legal Roundtable

(via Flickr/mike matney)

Some legal rulings leave us scratching our head but for widely different reasons.  Don Marsh hosts our monthly legal roundtable.  We wonder what a judge was thinking when she left important court decisions to her clerks, why a judge approved a sex change operation for a convicted murderer serving a life sentence, and other legal issues.  Our guests include:

  • William Freivogel, Director of the School of Journalism at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, Associate Professor at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute
  • William Ray Price, Jr., former Missouri Supreme Court Justice and Partner at Armstrong and Teasdale LLP
  • Mark Smith, Assistant Vice Chancellor and Director of the Career Center at Washington University

[Show Highlight: Contraceptive Coverage]

The Missouri legislature recently overturned Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill allowing employers to refuse to pay for insurance covering contraception and abortions.  The legislature’s move puts the state at direct odds with the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act, which requires insurers to cover contraception coverage. 

Bill Freivogel said, “It would seem that under the supremacy clause that federal law trumps state law.” The key question is whether the First Amendment religious freedom permits religious institutions the right to refuse providing contraceptive care.  “Most of the first amendment scholars I’ve talked with have said (requiring contraception coverage) quite likely would not be seen as a violation of religious freedom.”

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Mary Edwards came to St. Louis Public Radio in 1974, just after finishing her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She has served the station in a number of capacities over the years. From 1988-2014 she also taught an undergraduate class in radio production at Webster University. Mary was inducted into the St. Louis Media History Foundation Media Hall of Fame in April, 2017 and received the Gateway Media Literacy Partners' Charles Klotzer Media Literacy Award in 2012. Mary retired from St. Louis Public Radio in 2018, but still serves the station as a St. Louis Symphony Producer.
Alex is the executive producer of "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.
Don Marsh served as host of St. Louis Public Radio’s “St. Louis on the Air" from 2005 to 2019, bringing discussions of significant topics to listeners' ears at noon Monday through Friday. Don has been an active journalist for 58 years in print, radio and television. He has won 12 Regional Emmy Awards for writing, reporting, and producing. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, was inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame in 2013, and named “Media Person of the Year” by the St. Louis Press Club in 2015. He has published three books: his most recent, “Coming of Age, Liver Spots and All: A Humorous Look at the Wonders of Getting Old,” “Flash Frames: Journey of a Journeyman Journalist” and “How to be Rude (Politely).” He holds an honorary Doctor of Arts and Letters degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
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