Bar & Court Admissions:


  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. District Court, E.D. Mo.
  • U.S. District Court, W.D. Mo.
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • Missouri Bar

Stephen S. Davis

Partner


sdavis@TrueNorthLawGroup.com
Office: 314.296.4000
Direct: 314.296.4003


Stephen S. Davis is a partner and constitutional law litigator at True North Law LLC, specializing in election law and Fifth Amendment takings litigation in trial and appellate courts.  Steve has litigated extensively in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and state and federal courts in Missouri and often represents property rights organizations and scholars as amici curiae in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Prior to private practice, Steve served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri and the Chief Clerk and Administrator of the Missouri House of Representatives.  Steve also served as a law clerk for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

Featured News

Nov. 22, 2022                    Steve Davis invited to speak at ALI-CLE Eminent Domain & Land Valuation Litigation national conference in February 2023

Nov. 21, 2022                     Federalist Society publishes case analysis by Steve Davis of Wilkins v. United States U.S. Supreme Court case

Oct. 3, 2022                        American Bar Association publishes article by Steve Davis on Sackett v. EPA U.S. Supreme Court case

Sept. 26, 2022                   Missouri Lawyers Weekly profiles Steve Davis, “one of Missouri’s most prominent election lawyers,” presenting at the Missouri Bar Annual Meeting

Sept. 15, 2022                   Steve Davis to address plenary session of Missouri Bar Annual Meeting on “Conducting Free & Fair Elections

Sept. 8, 2022                      True North Law files U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief in Ariyan v. Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans  

Aug. 17, 2022                     Steve Davis speaks at BYU Education Week conference on “The Elephant (and Donkey) in the Room: Election Law and the 2016 Presidential Election

June 27, 2022                    Steve Davis addresses Missouri high school teachers at Missouri Bar Summer Institute

 

Litigation Highlights

US Supreme Court

  • Ariyan v. Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans, counsel of record for amici curiaeReason Foundation, Southeastern Legal Foundation, National Assoc. of Reversionary Property Owners, and Professor James W. Ely, Jr., in support of the petition for certiorari, asking the Supreme Court to take up and reverse the Fifth Circuit’s decision denying seventy landowners “just compensation” for the taking of their land.  Louisiana state courts ruled the state must pay these landowners compensation, but the state refused to do so, saying the legislature did not appropriate the compensation.  This amicus brief asserts that the landowners’ Fifth Amendment right to “just compensation” is self-executing and does not depend upon legislative grace. 
  • Harris v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, co-counsel for petitioners, Arizona voters challenging the Arizona state legislative redistricting plan as unconstitutional for violating the fundamental “one person, one vote” principle of the Equal Protection Clause.
  • St. Bernard Parish Government v. United States, co-counsel for amici curiae NFIB Small Business Legal Center, Reason Foundation, Southeastern Legal Foundation, National Association of Reversionary Property Owners, Property Rights Foundation of America, and Professor James W. Ely, Jr., pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  This complex, decade-long litigation resulted in a landmark decision by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, holding the government liable for a taking for the flooding of New Orleans landowners’ property caused by the government’s construction and operation of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet.
  • Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley, co-counsel for amicus curiae National Association of Evangelicals filing an amicus brief in support of the church in a challenge to Missouri’s prohibition on public aid to religious schools (Missouri’s Blaine Amendment).
  • Brandt v. United States, co-counsel for amicus curiae Cato Institute, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Land Title Association, Public Lands Council, American Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and law professors Richard Epstein, James Ely, Donald Kochan, and Dale Whitman: The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Brandt family and issued a landmark decision protecting property owners’ rights as urged by the amici.

US Court of Appeals 

  • Brott v. United States, 858 F.3d 525 (6th Cir. 2017), co-counsel for a group of Michigan property owners in a Trails Act taking case, concurrently filed in both the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, challenging the Tucker Act’s prohibition on filing taking cases against the United States over $10,000 in an Article III court with the right to trial by jury.  The landowners petitioned for Supreme Court review and were supported by multiple amici curiae briefs filed by eminent property rights organizations and scholars, including the Cato Institute, NFIB Small Business Legal Center, Pacific Legal Foundation, National Association of Reversionary Property Owners, Property Rights Foundation of America, Pioneer Institute, Southeastern Legal Foundation, American Civil Rights Union, Reason Foundation, Mountain States Legal Foundation, and Law Professors James W. Ely, Jr., and Shelley Ross Saxer.
  • Lee, et al. v. Virginia State Board of Elections, et al. (4th Cir. 2017), co-counsel for the Commonwealth of Virginia in appeal affirming trial court’s ruling for the Commonwealth regarding the state’s voter photo-identification statute from challenge under the Voting Rights Act. 
  • Kloeckner v. Solis, 639 F.3d 834 (8th Cir. 2011), successful defense of US government on appeal in “mixed” CSRA/employment discrimination claims resulting in clear, favorable 8th Circuit precedent, petition for cert. granted, US Supreme Court opinion at 133 S. Ct. 596 (2012).

US District Court

  • Lee, et al. v. Virginia State Board of Elections, et al. (No. 3:15CV357, E.D. Va.), co-counsel for the Commonwealth of Virginia defending the state’s voter photo-identification statute from challenge under the Voting Rights Act.  After a two-week trial, the court ruled for Virginia on all counts.

Missouri Supreme Court

  • Shoemyer v. Kander (No. SC94516), co-counsel for a consortium of Missouri agricultural groups defending the adoption of a state constitutional amendment by initiative petition.

Professional Activities & Recognitions

Steve served as an adjunct law professor at Saint Louis University teaching election law. He also served on the Missouri Capitol Commission and is past-chairman and continues to serve on the Missouri Bar Advisory Committee on Civic Education. He was the founding chairman of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society St. Louis Chapter and continues to serve on its board.

Steve is a frequent speaker at Missouri Bar seminars as well as national conferences on election law and Fifth Amendment takings litigation.  As Assistant U.S. Attorney, the St. Louis Business Journal recognized Steve to be one of the region’s “Top 40 Under 40” leaders.  In 2016, the Missouri Bar awarded Steve its Warren Solomon Civic Virtue Award.  The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri appointed and re-appointed Steve as a member of its Magistrate Judge Appointment Committee. 

Steve is a twenty-year member of the Federalist Society and a past-vice-president of the St. Louis Chapter.  He is an alumnus of the Leadership St. Louis program, a highly selective program that brings together a diverse group of leaders who demonstrate a deep commitment to improving the St. Louis region through experiential learning and community immersion.  Steve has also been selected as a member of the Missouri Humanities Council and State Historical Society of Missouri “Show-Me Missouri Speakers Bureau” (see https://shsmo.org/speakers-bureau/speakers), where he speaks state-wide on Missouri legal history and Missouri election law.

Steve actively serves his local community as a member of the city civil service board, a past member of the police board, and chairman of its charter review commission.  He is also an active member of the Friends of the Missouri State Archives and the State Historical Society of Missouri.

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