Category: Advocacy

Local Government May Keep Peace Cross SCOTUS Rules

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

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1st Amendment Doesn’t Apply to Private Entities Operating Public Access Channels

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

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What Makes A Resident? Counting Your Community for the 2020 Census

Municipal governments have an important relationship with the census — both as consumers of the data it gathers and as partners in ensuring the complete and accurate count of our cities. Data produced by the census are critical to our democratic system and improves our ability to function as one of the world’s largest countries

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Looking At the Future of Infrastructure

This is guest post by Bill Eller, vice president, business development at HomeServe. As Congress and the president eye a bipartisan effort at improving our aging infrastructure, the time for a wide-reaching infrastructure program to rebuild water, electric, transportation and information infrastructure, is now. The need for locally-based planning and financial partnerships, not only to

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Top Ten Moments From Infrastructure Week 2019

The conversation around infrastructure in America has never been more urgent or relevant than it is today. As our nation approaches the finish line of the 7th annual Infrastructure Week, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the action, advocacy and discussion we were fortunate to witness this week. Here are some of

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What a Broadband Preemption Victory in Arkansas Means For Rural Cities

For those of us lucky enough to live in areas with easy access to high-speed internet, it can be easy to forget: access to broadband is not created equal. For many in rural areas and even suburban communities, there might be very little or nearly non-existent internet access. More than connecting to Netflix, Facebook or

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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.

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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

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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

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