Category: Supreme Court

Unpacking the “Bridgegate” Case

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”

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Implicit Bias, Liability and Cities

We all have bias. An inescapable reality of humanity, bias is the evaluation of one group and its members relative to another and can be implicit or explicit. Implicit bias refers to the way people unconsciously and sometimes unwillingly exhibit feelings, attitudes, and judgments towards other individuals and groups. By understanding the implicit biases embedded

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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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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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What’s Next for the Census Citizenship Question?

A federal district court has held that a question about citizenship may not be included in the 2020 census. The Trump administration is likely to appeal this ruling to the Second Circuit, and it is likely the Supreme Court will ultimately resolve the dispute. Additional challenges to including this question have been brought but not

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What’s Next for the Affordable Care Act?

While a federal district court ruled the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional on December 14, the Act and the litigation will continue. The judge didn’t issue a nationwide injunction which would have had the effect of immediately ceasing all aspects of law. Unsurprisingly, the states defending the law have stated they will appeal this ruling

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What The Ninth Circuit’s Camping Ruling Means for Housing First Strategies in Cities

As cities continue to determine what they can do to address the housing needs of people experiencing homelessness, now is the time to be mindful of a recent legal decision — especially if your city is located in the Ninth Circuit (which includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington). In Martin

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Supreme Court Will Hear First Amendment Retaliatory Arrest Case

Every year, the Supreme Court hears and rules in a wide variety of difficult cases. And when it comes to the legal matters at stake, some tend to pop up once, while others recur over years or decades. But in recent years, no issue has vexed the court quite like one nagging question: whether probable cause

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