Author: Lisa Soronen

Supreme Court to Consider Constitutionality of Partisan Gerrymandering

If the deciding justice finds that there is no clear way to determine constitutionality — and thus no clear way to establish laws against the practice — then the issue will continue to affect politics for the foreseeable future. In Gill v. Whitford the Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether and when it is

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Is the President’s Travel Ban Headed to the Supreme Court?

The Fourth Circuit concluded the revised travel ban likely violates the Establishment Clause, noting that its “text speaks with vague words of national security but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination.” The Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to review the Fourth Circuit’s recent decision temporarily preventing President Donald Trump’s

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The Attorney General Defined Sanctuary Cities. Here’s What You Need to Know.

On Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued the government’s first official definition of “sanctuary cities” and made it clear that President Trump’s power to cut off funding from local governments on the basis of immigration policy is limited to cities that “willfully refuse to comply” with a specific section of federal law. For the most

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Dueling Lawsuits Challenge and Defend Texas Sanctuary Jurisdictions Law

It is not just the president who wants to curtail sanctuary jurisdictions — states are getting in on the action, too. Unsurprisingly, local governments are pushing back. On May 7, 2017, Gov. Greg Abbott signed SB 4 into law in Texas. Among numerous other stipulations, it requires local governments to honor Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers,

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Supreme Court: Cities Can Proceed With Claims Against Banks for Discriminatory Lending

The Supreme Court recently ruled local governments have “standing” to bring Fair Housing Act (FHA) lawsuits against banks alleging discriminatory lending practices. The glass is more than half full after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bank of America v. Miami — but not as full as local governments would like. The Supreme Court could have totally

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D.C. Circuit Will Not Rule on Clean Power Plan — For Now

With its Friday ruling, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has stayed the Clean Power Plan — but a Supreme Court review may be on the horizon. On Friday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the Trump Administration’s request to hold the Clean Power Plan (CPP) case in abeyance for 60 days. Additionally, the court asked the

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What’s Next for Trump’s Blocked Sanctuary Cities Order?

Judge William Orrick issued an injunction blocking enforcement of Trump’s sanctuary cities executive order. Following proposals to shut down the government over federal payments to sanctuary cities, what can cities expect to happen in the near future? A federal district court has issued a nationwide preliminary injunction preventing the Trump administration from enforcing the sanctuary

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Seventh Circuit Holds Employees May Bring Sexual Orientation Employment Discrimination Claims

The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling in Hively v. Ivy Tech provides a wider interpretation of nondiscrimination law. The Seventh Circuit Court has become the first federal circuit court of appeals to rule that employees may bring sexual orientation discrimination claims under Title VII. Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College directly affects state

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Local Governments Sue Over Sanctuary Jurisdictions Executive Order

The executive order is under litigation – but how worried should cities be that the president will actually take away money from sanctuary jurisdictions in the near future? Five days after assuming office, President Donald Trump signed an executive order threatening to take away federal funding from so-called sanctuary jurisdictions. The executive order leaves it

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Update: The Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings

While federalism was rarely discussed, and preemption wasn’t discussed at all, one particular issue of interest to local governments was explored at length. Confirmation hearings generally follow a predictable course, and Judge Neil Gorsuch’s hearings have been no exception. In most cases, senators not aligned with the president’s political party ask the nominee pointed questions

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