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William H. Freivogel is director of the School of Journalism at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a professor at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. Previously, he worked for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for 34 years, serving as assistant Washington Bureau Chief and deputy editorial editor. He covered the U.S. Supreme Court while in Washington. He is a graduate of Kirkwood High School, Stanford University and Washington University Law School. He is a member of the Missouri Bar.

Supreme Court starts with old favorites

In Washington

11:19 am on Mon, 10.07.13

There are no blockbusters on the U.S. Supreme Court term that begins today. But the court's calendar contains many of the divisive issues that have filled its docket for the past 40 years: abortion, affirmative action, school prayer and campaign finance.

Analysis: Sterling decision undercuts journalists' ability to protect sources

In Law Scoop

Updated at 4:59 pm on Thu, 08.01.13

Do journalists have the right to protect the confidentiality of their sources? The decision in the case involving James Risen, a New York Times reporter, and Jeffrey Sterling, native Missouri and former CIA agent, gives quite a definitive answer: No. Oddly enough, this decision comes just as the Obama administration is pushing a law in Congress to create a federal shield law.

Now what? After Zimmerman's acquittal, few legal options

In Nation

11:22 am on Mon, 07.15.13

The Justice Department could prosecute George Zimmerman for a hate crime under federal law, but such a dual prosecution would not be justified without more proof of a racial motivation by Zimmerman or ineptitude by state prosecutors, according to legal experts in St. Louis.

High court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act provisions

In Nation

Updated at 1:22 pm on Thu, 06.27.13

The U.S. Supreme Court gave a big boost to same-sex marriage on Wednesday by throwing out the federal law that prevented couples in same-sex marriages from enjoying the same federal benefits as traditional married couples receive. Its ruling in a separate California case could bring same-sex marriage back there.

Supreme Court invalidates key sections of voting rights act

In Nation

5:12 pm on Tue, 06.25.13

The conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down the most potent part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, one of the most successful laws in American history. Chief Justice John G. Roberts said the law was based on "decades-old data and eradicated practices” that no longer justify treating Southern states differently from others.

Supreme Court maintains affirmative action precedent

In Nation

Updated at 2:08 pm on Mon, 06.24.13

The court decided by a 7-1 vote to send the University of Texas affirmative action plan back to the lower courts for closer scrutiny. The decision emphasized that universities must make sure that racial preferences are the only way they can achieve diversity.

Just how scared should we be about telephone data collection?

In Law Scoop

Updated at 12:12 pm on Tue, 06.11.13

The typical American could be forgiven for being confused about the disclosure that the National Security Agency is collecting everyone’s telephone data. From one point of view, the disclosure of the NSA’s data collection is one of the most significant security leaks in U.S. history. From another point of view, the program has been known for years and clearly is legal.

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Conference of American nuns will mull response to Vatican charges

In Nation

7:55 am on Fri, 08.03.12

Meeting in St. Louis next week, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious will have its first opportunity as an assembled group to consider what to do after the Vatican issued a mandate for change this spring. It calls on the conference to reorganize and more strictly observe church teachings.

The 'free' Zoo

In Commentary

7:51 am on Tue, 05.22.12

When a family of four goes to the St. Louis Zoo, they can be forgiven for not knowing it will cost them $60, $72 if they park. If they can't pay, the alternative is to tell the kids they can't do what kids do at the zoo.

Featured Articles

House sends Boeing incentive bill to Nixon

In Economy

12:55 pm on Fri, 12.06.13

The Missouri House easily passed legislation aimed at attracting production of the 777x, a move that wraps up a legislative special session that saw little suspense and few surprises. The bill now goes to Gov. Jay Nixon, who has strongly supported the legislation.

Gandhi inspired Mandela on South Africa's 'Long Road to Freedom'

In World

10:10 am on Fri, 12.06.13

Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday at the age of 95, was a towering moral figure of the 20th century -- along with Mahatma Gandhi. It was no coincidence that Gandhi and Mandela, whose paths never crossed directly, both embarked on their campaigns against discrimination in South Africa. It was when Mandela won election as South Africa’s first black president that Gandhi's influence became apparent.

Featured Articles

Regina Carter brings jazz and therapy to Children's Hospital

6:36 am on Mon, 12.09.13

One night, the violinist is taking bows before a standing ovation at Jazz at the Bistro. The next afternoon, some of her audience may have trouble standing, but the kids in the playroom at Children's Hospital were no less appreciative. “Jazz is medicine personified," according to a doctor who brings in the jazz musicians.

Encore: Dead before death

In Performing Arts

12:58 am on Fri, 12.06.13

For years , the author was certain he would never come to appreciate The Grateful Dead, let alone be a Deadhead. But little by little, he's come around. He talks about his conversion and relates a real evolution: by a musician who went on to play with the Schwag, a Dead cover band.

Featured Articles

Schlichter honored with St. Louis Award

In Region

4:57 pm on Tue, 12.03.13

The attorney has founded Arch Grants, which brings together nonprofit philanthropy and commercially viable opportunitiesto fund new business startups, and Mentor St. Louis, which finds adult mentors for elementary students in the St. Louis Public School System. He was the driving force behind the state's historic tax credit program.

BioGenerator sets open house to celebrate new digs for entrepreneurs-in-residence

In InnovationSTL

12:29 pm on Tue, 11.12.13

BioSTL's BioGenerator organization is on the move as its entrepreneurs-in-residence find a new home in 4,300 square feet of office and conference space in an old automobile factory. The blossoming program, which helps BioGenerator's portfolio companies to get off the ground, continues to pay dividends within the growing biotech community.

Ambassadors aim to soften rough landing for St. Louis immigrants

In InnovationSTL

6:34 am on Fri, 11.08.13

The St. Louis Mosaic Project is set to hold an orientation for its new ambassadors -- dozens of foreign and native-born volunteers who aim to help make the community a more welcoming place for those from other nations. Participants will be expected to do everything from visiting local restaurants serving international cuisine to having dinner with an immigrant to the area.

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Innovation and entrepreneurial activity are on the rise in St. Louis, especially in bioscience, technology and alternative energy. The Beacon's InnovationSTL section focuses on the people who are part of this wave, what they're doing and how this is shaping our future. To many St. Louisans, this wave is not yet visible. InnovationSTL aims to change that. We welcome you to share your knowledge, learn more about this vibrant trend and discuss its impact.

Featured Articles

Regina Carter brings jazz and therapy to Children's Hospital

6:36 am on Mon, 12.09.13

One night, the violinist is taking bows before a standing ovation at Jazz at the Bistro. The next afternoon, some of her audience may have trouble standing, but the kids in the playroom at Children's Hospital were no less appreciative. “Jazz is medicine personified," according to a doctor who brings in the jazz musicians.

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