Author: Lisa Soronen

Expect to See a Citizenship Question in the 2020 Census

Predicting the outcome of a Supreme Court case based on oral argument is foolhardy. But unless the more liberal Justices (Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan) are able to pick up the vote of a more conservative Justice (Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh) it seems likely the 2020 census will contain a question about citizenship.

Continue reading

Why Timbs v. Indiana Won’t Have Much Impact

Timbs v. Indiana has received a lot of attention because it deals with a controversial subject—civil asset forfeitures. But as a practical matter this case is unlikely to have much of an impact. What this case now requires under the federal constitution has long since been required under state constitutions. In Timbs the Supreme Court

Continue reading

Will the Supreme Court’s New Members Change the Court’s Stance on Gerrymandering?

The Supreme Court heard oral argument—yet again—in two cases arguing it should adopt a standard for when partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional. Before argument court watchers were focused on Chief Justice Roberts, but during argument Justice Kavanaugh stole the show. In 1986 in Davis v. Bandemer six Supreme Court Justices agreed that some amount of partisan

Continue reading

Permits and Pollution: Next Steps for the Clean Water Act

If a state or local government discharges a pollutant from a point source to a navigable water it must obtain a permit under the Clean Water Act (CWA). But what if that pollutant is conveyed in something—say groundwater—between the point source and the navigable water? Must the state or local government still obtain a permit?

Continue reading

Supreme Court to Review Census Citizenship Question

In April the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case that will determine whether a citizenship question will appear in the 2020 census. A decision in Department of Commerce v. New York is expected by the end of June, in time presumably to include or exclude the question from the print version of the

Continue reading

What’s Next for the Affordable Care Act?

While a federal district court ruled the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional on December 14, the Act and the litigation will continue. The judge didn’t issue a nationwide injunction which would have had the effect of immediately ceasing all aspects of law. Unsurprisingly, the states defending the law have stated they will appeal this ruling

Continue reading

Supreme Court Will Hear First Amendment Retaliatory Arrest Case

Every year, the Supreme Court hears and rules in a wide variety of difficult cases. And when it comes to the legal matters at stake, some tend to pop up once, while others recur over years or decades. But in recent years, no issue has vexed the court quite like one nagging question: whether probable cause

Continue reading

Justice Neil Gorsuch and the Case of the Graveyard Invaders

Over the past year, the Supreme Court has issues consequential rulings on labor, free speech, international travel and more. But in October 2018, as it begins a new term, the Supreme Court will start with a Halloween-appropriate case. In Knick v. Township of Scott, the Supreme Court will decide whether to overturn Williamson County Regional

Continue reading

What Justice Kennedy Meant to Cities

As of July 30, the last day of this year’s historic Supreme Court session, Justice Anthony Kennedy is retired. For states and local governments, he will be forever remembered — not least as the justice who championed allowing online sales tax collection. In March 2015, Justice Kennedy wrote that the “legal system should find an

Continue reading