A federal judge has ordered Missouri state officials to allow a splinter group of the Ku Klux Klan to hold a picnic at a Civil War historic site after the group filed a lawsuit claiming it was discriminated against by the state.
Frank Ancona, “the Imperial Wizard of the Traditionalist American
Knights of the Ku Klux Klan,” filed a lawsuit on Wednesday alleging
that his organization had been “treated differently” from others when
it applied for a license to hold a picnic at Fort Davidson, some 70
miles south of St. Louis.
“Rather than simply checking for availability on the calendar, as is
done for other groups seeking to use the pavilion, plaintiff was
required to submit a written request outlining his plans,” the lawsuit
(PDF) stated. “Other organizations are not required to make written
requests to use the large shelter if nothing will be sold to the
The lawsuit asked the judge to declare that the Klan’s
constitutional rights were violated by the refusal, and also asked for
a temporary injunction forcing the state to allow the picnic to be held
On Wednesday, District Court Judge Rodney Sippel did just that,
ordering the state’s natural resources department to allow the picnic
to go ahead provided the Klan can post an $1,800 bond and prove it has
$300,000 in liability insurance.
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