The city of Chicago impounds vehicles where debtors have three or more unpaid fines. Robbin Fulton’s vehicle was impounded, and when she filed for bankruptcy and asked the city to turn over her vehicle, it refused. And so, the question the Supreme Court will decide in City of Chicago, Illinois v. Fulton is whether a local government
Author: Lisa Soronen
In Martin v. City of Boise, the Ninth Circuit held that if a homeless person has no option of sleeping indoors a city cannot cite him or her for violating an ordinance disallowing sleeping outside in a public space. This significant holding is now final. The Supreme Court refuses to review thousands of lower court
Kelly v. United States is a conflux of fascinating law and facts. The basic question the Supreme Court will decide is whether the masterminds of “Bridgegate” have committed fraud in violation of federal law. The more technical question is whether a public official “defrauds” the government of its property by advancing a “public policy reason”
Chief Justice Roberts joined his more liberal colleagues (Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan) concluding the reasons Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross gave for adding the citizenship question to the 2020 census were pretextual in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). Presumably, Secretary Ross will now be able to offer different reasons for why he
The Bladensburg Peace Cross may stay, the Supreme Court ruled in a 7-2 decision in American Legion v. American Humanist Association. According to Justice Alito, writing for the majority of the Court: “It has become a prominent community landmark, and its removal or radical alteration at this date would be seen by many not as
May a private entity running a public access channel ban speakers based on the content of their speech—something a government entity running the same channels could not do? Yes, the Supreme Court held in a 5-4 opinion in Manhattan Community Access Corporation v. Halleck. Why? Because the First Amendment doesn’t apply to private entities in
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.
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
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
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?