Category: Federal Government

Supreme Court Hears Internet Sales Tax Arguments in South Dakota v. Wayfair

In South Dakota v. Wayfair South Dakota is asking the Supreme Court to overrule precedent and hold that states and local governments may require retailers with no in-state physical presence to collect sales tax. The National Conference of State Legislatures estimated that states lost $23.3 billion in 2012 from being prohibited from collecting sales tax

Continue reading

What Cities Can Learn from Congress’s Facebook Hearings

Last week, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg took to Capitol Hill to answer questions before Congress regarding his company’s recent data privacy revelations. While several members of Congress sought answers regarding Facebook’s plan to prevent this from happening again, the hearings raised issues that are just as pertinent for local government leaders — especially

Continue reading

Malicious Russian Cyber Activity is Targeting Government Networks

On April 16, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) released a joint “Technical Alert” about malicious cyber activity carried out by the Russian Government. According to the alert, “[t]he targets of this malicious cyber activity are primarily government and private-sector

Continue reading

In Kisela v. Hughes, Confronting Police Who “Shoot First and Think Later”

In the annals of the Supreme Court, summary reversals overturning a lower court decision without briefing or oral argument are common. But rare are summary reversals that receive media attention — because such action is “usually reserved … for situations in which the law is settled and stable, the facts are not in dispute, and the

Continue reading

What City Leaders Need to Know about the FY18 Spending Bill

This week, city leaders achieved a major legislative victory with the enactment of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, which boosts funding levels for dozens of city priorities across multiple agencies in the federal budget. For many cities, the threat of significant funding cuts has loomed over council meetings and municipal budget committees for more

Continue reading

Reclaiming Our Local Democracy

In Chattanooga, Tennessee, the city is not permitted to extend its municipal broadband service to woefully underserved rural neighbors, despite widespread support from people who live there. The city of St. Petersburg, Florida, is prevented from regulating the plastic bags and drinking straws that litter their waterways and harm wildlife. In every case, these cities

Continue reading

At Veterans Affairs, Change Comes Amid Renewed Opportunity

Wednesday’s dismissal of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Shulkin via presidential tweet is the latest in a string of high-level administration personnel changes. But this particular change in leadership is different — for it also comes on the heels of the first increase in veteran homelessness in seven years. In spite of these dynamics,

Continue reading

California Sues Trump Administration Over Census Citizenship Question

This week, on the same day that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced his plan to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census, California filed a complaint seeking an injunction preventing the question from being added. The next day, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced he would lead a multi-state lawsuit challenging the

Continue reading

In Benisek v. Lamone, the Supreme Court Confronts Gerrymandering

The challengers to the redistricting of Maryland’s Sixth Congressional District just might win — if the Supreme Court actually decides their case. In Benisek v. Lamone, in 2011, the Maryland legislature needed to move about 10,000 voters out of the Sixth Congressional District to comply with “one-person one-vote.” It moved about 360,000 Marylanders out of the

Continue reading

Trump Administration Sues California over Sanctuary Laws

Most of the Trump administration’s disagreements over protecting undocumented immigrants have been with local governments. From Chicago to San Francisco, city leaders have drawn challenges over so-called “sanctuary city” policies, with mixed results on both sides. But on March 6, the Trump administration escalated its dispute in a serious way — by filing a complaint

Continue reading