Tag: Supreme Court

States and Local Governments Win Landmark Online Sales Tax Case

On Thursday, in South Dakota v. Wayfair, the Supreme Court ruled that states and local governments can require vendors with no physical presence in the state to collect sales tax. According to the court, which ruled in a 5-4 decision, “economic and virtual contacts” are enough to create a “substantial nexus” with the state allowing

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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

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

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

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