Policy Area

On June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down two Texas abortion restrictions. The first required doctors at abortion clinics to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital. The second required abortion clinics to meet the same standards as hospital-style surgical centers. Currently 26 states have one or both of these provisions.

In Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt the Supreme Court held 5-3 that Texas’s admitting privileges and ambulatory surgical center requirements create an unconstitutional undue burden on women seeking abortions.

The admitting privileges law requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. It can be difficult for abortion doctors to obtain admitting privileges because “hospitals often condition admitting privileges on...

Following the June 23 vote by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, there are a number of looming economic impacts not only for European nations, but for the states on this side of the Atlantic that sold $56 billion worth of goods to the UK in 2015. 

Experts discussed the legal arguments for and against the Clean Power Plan, or CPP, during a recent eCademy webcast, “What's Next? Legal Perspectives on the Clean Power Plan,” presented by CSG and the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies. 

In March 2015, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote a concurring opinion for Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl stating that the “legal system should find an appropriate case for this Court to re-examine Quill.” Two lawsuits out of South Dakota and Alabama might be exactly the case Kennedy had in mind. 

The U.S. Department of Education released its first nationally comprehensive data on chronic absenteeism in June, revealing that about 6.5 million students—or 13 percent of the total student population—were absent at least 15 days during the 2013-2014 school year. The problem is so extensive that in October 2015 the presidential administration launched the Every Student, Every Day initiative to reduce chronic absenteeism by at least 10 percent each year, beginning in the current school year. 

The Supreme Court issued a 4-4 ruling in Dollar General Corporation v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. The Court’s decision leaves in place the Fifth Circuit’s ruling that in some instances nonmembers of Indian tribes (including state and local governments) can be sued in tribal court (as opposed to state or federal court) for tort (civil wrongdoing) claims.

John Doe, a thirteen-year-old tribe member, alleges that his supervisor sexually molested him while he was working as part of a job training program at a Dollar General located on a reservation. Doe sued Dollar General in tribal court alleging a variety of torts including negligent hiring, training, and supervision.

The suicide rate from 1999 to 2014 increased by 24 percent, from 10.5 per 100,000 to 13 per 100,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. That represents an increase of 1 to 2 percent per year, affecting almost every state and demographic.Suicide is now the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The deaths represent on average 113 suicides per day and more than 41,100 lives each year, at a cost to the U.S. economy of more than $51 billion dollars annually in lost work and medical costs.

Telematics—the technology of sending, receiving and storing information relating to vehicles via telecommunication devices—appears likely to have a significant impact on traditional insurance models in the years ahead. Telematics, for example, allows for the measurement of actual driving habits based on a vehicle’s real-time driving data. This non-partisan and non-advocative webinar, presented in collaboration with The Griffith Insurance Education Foundation, examines how the technology works, how telematics is impacting insurance models and products, and how public policymakers are considering the myriad questions and challenges this innovation presents.

In Birchfield v. North Dakota the Supreme Court held 5-3 that states may criminalize an arrestee’s refusal to take a warrantless breath test. If states criminalize the refusal to take a blood test police must obtain a warrant. The State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) filed an amicus brief arguing that states should be able to criminalize warrantless refusal to consent when a person is arrested upon suspicion of drunken driving.   

The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that 15 states currently criminalize refusal to consent. Criminal penalties typically include fines and jail time.    

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