Stephen Sharp Davis

St. Louis
About the Speaker

Stephen S. Davis graduated from Brigham Young University in 1995 and the University of Missouri School of Law in 1999. The Missouri House of Representatives twice elected Steve as its Chief Clerk and Administrator. Steve has also served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri. Currently, Steve is a federal litigator practicing with True North Law, LLC. Steve also served as Missouri Election Day Operations Director for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. Steve met his wife, Cara, when they both worked for Senator Orrin Hatch. They and their four children live in St. Louis.

“Mormonising” Political and Religious Opposition in Nineteenth-Century Missouri

Antebellum Missouri was a different place than the Missouri we now know. Attorney Steve Davis will reveal a little-known facet of Missouri history that will likely surprise listeners. Missouri’s state motto is “Salus Populi Supreme Lex Esto,” the welfare of the people is the supreme law, but this means something different today than it meant in 1820. In 19th Century Missouri, only the welfare of the popular majority was protected. When thousands of Mormons emigrated to western Missouri in the 1830s, their culture, politics, and religious beliefs clashed with other settlers so intensely that they were first expelled from Jackson County and then from the state entirely. Missourians’ solution to the “Mormon problem” – forced expulsion or “Mormonising” – became the precedent for dealing with other unpopular groups, like Native Americans and abolitionists, and would lead to the Civil War.

From Pendergast to Clean Missouri: Election Issues and Proposed Reforms

Using examples from Missouri and national political history, election law attorney Steve Davis will explain issues of intense current debate, including voting rights, redistricting, voter fraud, and proposed Electoral College reforms. Steve will separate fact from fiction in the partisan debates and enable listeners to understand how the process really works.