Category: Federal Government

What City Leaders Should Know about South Dakota v. Wayfair

On Thursday, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court handed down a major victory in South Dakota v. Wayfair, concluding that state and local governments can require remote retailers with no physical presence in the state to collect and remit sales taxes. After years of congressional inaction, the decision brings cities one significant step closer

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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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On Gerrymandering, Supreme Court Decisions Offer Little Clarity

In 1986, a majority of the Supreme Court agreed that partisan gerrymandering may be unconstitutional in certain circumstances. But in that case, and since then, the court has failed to agree on a standard for when partisan gerrymandering crosses the line. This week, that streak continued. In Gill v. Whitford and Benisek v. Lamone the

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What the Supreme Court’s Voting Rights Decision Means for Cities

This week, the Supreme Court held in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute that Ohio’s processes of removing people from the voter rolls does not violate federal law. The State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) filed an amicus brief in this case supporting Ohio — and twelve other states maintain their voter rolls using a similar process. For city

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Federal Court Rules “Sanctuary Cities” Statute is Unconstitutional

As of Tuesday, states and local governments who have sued the Trump administration over immigration policy — including the so-called “sanctuary jurisdictions” executive order, the adding of conditions to receive Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (Byrne JAG), and the requirement of  documentation to prove they comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373 — had won all their

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Insurance Hearing Shows Need for Autonomous Vehicles Data Access

On May 23, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing on the impact of autonomous vehicles (AVs) on the future of insurance. In light of the Senate’s American Vision for Safer Transportation through Advancement of Revolutionary Technologies Act (AV START Act), this hearing brings another critical perspective on AVs. For cities, the hearing yielded two crucial takeaways on the

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Is Your City Ready for Sports Gambling?

In a 6-3 decision in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association the Supreme Court declared the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) unconstitutional. PASPA, adopted in 1992, prohibits states from authorizing sports gambling. The State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) filed an amicus brief asking the Court to rule PASPA violates the Constitution’s

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Congress Passed the Banking Bill. Here’s What City Leaders Need to Know.

In the wake of the Great Recession, there was broad consensus that Congress and bank regulators needed to take measures to ensure the largest banks in the country, those deemed systemically important financial institutions (or SIFIs), were safeguarding themselves and the role they play in the national economy from dangerous levels of risk. On July

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Why the 2020 Census Could Be a Problem for Cities

This is a guest post by Mayor Mark Stodola, Little Rock, Arkansas, president of the National League of Cities. This Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Government Reform heard testimony from the U.S. Census Bureau’s interim director. He provided an overview of how preparations for the 2020 decennial census are going

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In Knick v. Township of Scott, Graveyards, Trespassing, and the U.S. Constitution

Like many cases accepted by the Supreme Court, the case of Knick v. Township of Scott involves a common theme in judicial circles. One party is asking to overturn long-standing Supreme Court precedent. Unfortunately for states and local governments, the precedent on the chopping block arises in the property rights context (where the more conservative

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