On March 13, 2006, the National Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC), a non-profit organization, represented by Attorney Mr. Robert Herman, of St. Louis, Missouri, a First Amendment Attorney with nearly twenty years of legal experience defending Free Speech Rights of persons and groups of various creeds and ideologies, filed suit in United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, Eastern Division, against Maplewood (Mo.) City Library, City of University City (Mo.) Public Library, Valley Park (Mo.) Community Library, and Festus (Mo.) City Library. All four defendants are Municipal Corporations.
The suit alleges that the libraries are blocking access to the Official National Website of the Council of Conservative Citizens (http://www.cofcc.org), by means of internet filtering software, and that because the National Website has no pornographic or sexually explicit material, and therefore all material on the National Website is fully protected speech under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, that therefore the libraries named as Defendants are blocking the National Website in violation of the First Amendment.
The suit demonstrates that each of the four Libraries named as Defendants were contacted by the Council of Conservative Citizens in calendar year 2005 that their internet terminals and computers were blocking the National Website; however, none of the four libraries followed the law and unblocked the National Website.
Several other libraries in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area were also contacted by the Council of Conservative Citizens for the same reason, and subsequently unblocked the National Website to comply with the law.
The suit seeks injunctive relief in the form of the libraries named as Defendants being enjoined from further blocking of the National Website.
According to Mr. Herman, he believes that this is the first lawsuit of its type brought in the United States.