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
District of Columbia Bar
Stephen S. Davis
Steve concentrates on trial and appellate property rights litigation in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, federal district courts and courts of appeals, and in the US Supreme Court.
Steve also specializes in election litigation, representing high-profile political campaigns and organizations in matters that include redistricting, ballot access challenges, recounts, and post-election challenges. Steve is a highly sought-after teacher and presenter on property rights and election law issues.
Steve’s experience includes extensive practice before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, Federal Circuit, Sixth Circuit, and Eighth Circuit in cases involving Fifth Amendment takings and election law. Steve has been counsel in dozens of cases in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and multiple appeals in the Federal Circuit (and other Circuits) involving Fifth Amendment takings (not including other cases), and several Fifth Amendment and redistricting cases in the Supreme Court.
Steve has been co-counsel in numerous merits and amicus briefs in the Supreme Court representing the Cato Institute, National Federation of Independent Business, National Association of Evangelicals, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Association of Reversionary Property Owners, and several other esteemed property law organizations and law professors.
Steve recently served as trial and appellate co-counsel to Thor Hearne, who was lead counsel successfully defending the Commonwealth of Virginia in a constitutional challenge to Virginia’s voter identification law in both federal district court and the Fourth Circuit. Democrat Attorney General Mark Herring appointed Hearne, Davis, and others in their firm to defend the Commonwealth. Steve was also a member of the legal team challenging the constitutionality of Arizona’s state legislative redistricting scheme in Harris v. Arizona Redistricting Comm’n in the Supreme Court.
Prior to joining True North Law, Steve was a litigator with Arent Fox for six years. Prior to private practice, Steve served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, where he litigated federal civil rights, Federal Tort Claims Act, employment discrimination, and immigration claims in federal, state, and appellate courts as well as assisting in criminal prosecutions. After leaving the Department of Justice, Steve served as the Missouri Election Day Operations Director for the Mitt Romney presidential campaign, where he oversaw all election law-related issues in the state.
Earlier in Steve’s career, he served as the 62nd Chief Clerk and Administrator of the Missouri House of Representatives, where he directed all legislative action, performed constitutional duties, and managed all agency staff and operations. Steve also clerked for Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr., of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and for the US Senate Judiciary Committee.
US Supreme Court
- 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.
Publications & Presentations
- “Partisan Gerrymandering and Gill v. Whitford,” Missouri Federal Courts and Constitutional Controversies Seminar, sponsored by Street Law, Inc. (Feb. 2018)
- “Historically and Legally Speaking: How We Arrived at Gill v. Whitford,” National Conference of State Legislatures Capitol Forum (Dec. 2017)
- “Reasonable Attorney Fees as a Constitutional Requirement in Fifth Amendment Taking Cases,” American Law Institute Eminent Domain & Land Valuation Litigation Conference (Jan. 2017)
- “The Courts Have Ruled, but What Does It Mean for Redistricting?” National Conference of State Legislatures National Legislative Summit (Aug. 2016)
- “The Missouri Constitution and Religious Freedom,” University of Missouri Kinder Institute for Constitutional Studies Teachers Academy (June 2016)
- “A Missouri Religious Liberty Case in the Supreme Court: Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley,” J. Reuben Clark Law Society St. Louis Chapter (March 2016)
- “SCOTUScast: Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama,” Federal Society Podcast (May 2015) (available at: http://www.fed-soc.org/multimedia/detail/alabama-legislative-black-caucus-v-alabama-post-decision-scotuscast)
- “The Federal Chevron Doctrine: Once and Future Law in Missouri?” Missouri Bar Journal (May–June 1999).
- “Unconstitutionality of the Legislative Veto in Missouri: Mo. Coalition for the Environment v. Joint Comm. on Admin. Rules,” 5 Mo. Environmental Law & Policy Rev. 93 (Fall 1997).