Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Judge Orders Shakeup of Schlafly's Eagle Forum

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Judge Orders Shakeup of Schlafly's Eagle Forum

Article excerpt

More than a month after the death of conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly, the battle for control over the interest group she founded continues to rage between her management team and board members who disagreed with the group's direction and advocacy of Donald Trump in the last year of her life.

At stake is who has the right to use Schlafly's name and image, the name or logos of Eagle Forum, and the group's donor lists. Schlafly died Sept. 5 at the age of 92.

Six members of the forum's board of directors in April asked a judge in Madison County to intervene in the internal power struggle, which has divided Schlafly's family and the group she founded 44 years ago.

The board members, including Anne Cori, Schlafly's daughter, sought injunctions against Phyllis Schlafly's son, John F. Schlafly, and Ed Martin, a longtime fixture in conservative Missouri politics who has been the group's director and Phyllis Schlafly's right-hand man since January 2015. The judge placed a temporary restraining order keeping the group's management intact until a ruling on the suit's merits.

On Thursday, Judge John B. Barberis Jr. ruled that the board of directors was to retake control of the forum and Martin was to be suspended as president and restrained from conducting Eagle Forum business.

Barberis said Martin and John Schlafly had used their positions to make changes to the organization, such as changing the group's website, harming the board members' interests.

The judge's order was to be in place until his final ruling on the case. A representative for the board members could not be reached on Friday.

Martin said he was unavailable for an interview but said in an email the temporary ruling "does not affect our work in any way. Courts do not properly pick leaders of political organizations. The court ruled without hearing any testimony, and mistakes happen that way. I'm confident this unprecedented ruling will be overturned on appeal."

The power struggle is also being waged in the federal courts. …

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