Author: Lisa Soronen

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

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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

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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

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Supreme Court Sends Qualified Immunity Win Back to Lower Court

In the past, many academics have complained about the Supreme Court frequently reversing lower court decisions that have denied police officers qualified immunity. Last month, in Sause v. Bauer, the court reversed (and remanded) a grant of qualified immunity. In a unanimous per curiam (unauthored) opinion, the Supreme Court remanded this case back to the

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What City Leaders Should Know about the Supreme Court’s Union Ruling

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court held 5-4 in Janus v. AFSCME that state statutes allowing public sector employers and unions to agree that employees who don’t join the union must still pay their “fair share” of collective bargaining costs violate the First Amendment. The court also held that employees must “affirmatively consent” to join the

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Supreme Court Blocks Disclosure Requirements for California Pregnancy Clinics

On Tuesday, in a 5-4 decision in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, the Supreme Court ruled that a California law requiring licensed pregnancy clinics to disclose they don’t offer abortions and unlicensed pregnancy clinics to disclose the fact they are unlicensed likely violates the First Amendment. The ruling has significant implications

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President Trump Wins Travel Ban Supreme Court Case

On Tuesday, in a 5-4 decision in Trump v. Hawaii, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of President Trump’s travel ban. The third travel ban indefinitely prevents immigration from six countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria and Yemen. Hawaii and others had sued President Trump claiming the ban was illegal and unconstitutional. The court

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States and Local Governments Win Landmark Online Sales Tax Case

On Thursday, in South Dakota v. Wayfair, the Supreme Court ruled that states and local governments can require vendors with no physical presence in the state to collect sales tax. According to the court, which ruled in a 5-4 decision, “economic and virtual contacts” are enough to create a “substantial nexus” with the state allowing

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Man Arrested for Disrupting Council Meetings Can Sue, Supreme Court Says

According to the Supreme Court, Riviera Beach, Florida, resident Fane Lozman may be the only person to fit within a “unique class of retaliatory arrest claims.” It may not be a very auspicious honor — but the designation was all it took for Lozman to win his (second) Supreme Court case. In an 8-1 decision

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