Tag: SCOTUS

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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What Happens When Wildlife Conservation and Economic Impacts Collide?

According to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) may designate land a “critical habitat” for an endangered species. The act mandates that FWS consider the economic impact of specifying an area as a critical habitat. FWS may exclude an area if the benefits of excluding it outweigh the benefits

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Supreme Court Considers Gerrymandering in Texas

In Abbott v. Perez, a number of persons and advocacy groups challenged the Texas Legislature’s 2011 state legislative and congressional redistricting plan claiming it discriminated against black and Hispanic voters in violation of the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause and the Voting Rights Act. In 2011, a three-judge district court issued a remedial redistricting plan which

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Appeals Court Affirms Chicago’s Win in Sanctuary Jurisdictions Case

In July 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) added two new requirements for states and local governments to receive federal Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (Byrne JAG) for law enforcement funding. In response, Chicago sued Attorney General Jeff Sessions, arguing he lacks the statutory authority to impose these conditions. In September 2017, an Illinois

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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

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Pennsylvania Will Redraw its Gerrymandered House Districts

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s ruling that the state’s 2011 Congressional redistricting plan constitutes an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. This is the fourth court in a relatively short period of time to rule that partisan gerrymandering may be unconstitutional. In its ruling, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court gave the Pennsylvania General

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Two Supreme Court Cases Test Limits of Local Authority

By the end of June 2018, the Supreme Court will have decided two cases — Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach and Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District v. SolarCity — testing the limits of local government authority. Both cases could have serious ramifications for city leaders in the future. And beyond that, the cases

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What Happens Now to the “Waters of the United States”?

In National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense the Supreme Court held unanimously that a legal challenge to the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) must begin in a federal district court not a federal court of appeals. What this ruling means for the 2015 WOTUS definitional rule is unclear. As Justice

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Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Legal Challenges to Third Travel Ban

In Trump v. Hawaii, the Ninth Circuit temporarily struck down President Trump’s third travel ban. Because of a Supreme Court order issued in December 2017, however, the third travel ban is currently in effect, regardless of the Ninth Circuit ruling. Now, the Supreme Court has agreed to review the Ninth Circuit decision — and an

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Why The North Carolina Gerrymandering Case Matters

When a three-judge panel struck down North Carolina’s 2016 Congressional redistricting plan, the case received a bit more media attention than the average Supreme Court redistricting case. That’s because it represented the third three-judge panel to strike down a partisan gerrymander — even though the Supreme Court has yet to articulate if and exactly when partisan-driven

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