Kansas City Premier Apartments is a business that provides the public with information to help people search for rental property in the Kansas City area. The Missouri Real Estate Commission decided that KCPA was practicing as a real estate broker without the required license. KCPA challenged the validity of the laws the MREC relied on, arguing that the First Amendment does not permit the government to control the dissemination of truthful, nonmisleading, harmless speech. The trial court found that KCPA's speech was indeed truthful, nonmisleading, and harmless, but nevertheless held that the statutory restrictions were consistent with the First Amendment - the court enjoined KCPA from accepting any money for its services and from doing anything else that fell within the definition of real estate brokerage. The Missouri Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's judgment, although to achieve that result it departed from dozens of U.S. Supreme Court precedents, announcing that it would presume the constitutionality of the challenged speech restrictions and that KCPA bore the burden of showing that the restrictions "clearly and undoubtedly violate the constitution." On October 17, 2011, KCPA asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the question of whether a court considering a First Amendment challenge to a law that restricts protected speech may presume the constitutionality of that law, rather than requiring the government to bear the burden of justifying the restriction.
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