Government

What happened when land on an Indian reservation was opened to settlers? Did the land lose its reservation status? What if an Indian tribe tries to regulate a city now located on that land?

In Solem v. Bartlett (1984) the Supreme Court articulated a three-part test to determine if a reservation has been diminished. Courts must look at “statutory language used to open the Indian lands,” “events surrounding the passage of a surplus land Act,” and “events that occurred after the passage of a surplus land Act.”

In Nebraska v. Parker when the Omaha Tribe tried to enforce its new alcoholic beverages tax in the Village of Pender, Nebraska, the village objected. It claimed it is not located on the Omaha Indian Reservation because Congress diminished the reservation in 1882. The 1882 Act allotted less than 1,000 out of 50,000 acres of the western portion of the reservation to tribe members; the remaining acres were sold to non-Indians.  

The State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) for the first time ever has asked the Supreme Court to accept and decide a case. The SLLC is asking the Court to hear United Student Aid Funds v. Bible and overturn Auer deference to federal agencies.  

In Auer v. Robbins (1997) the Supreme Court reaffirmed its holding in Bowles v. Seminole Rock & Sand Co. (1945) that courts must defer to an agency’s interpretation of its own regulations (even if that interpretation is articulated for the first time in an amicus brief during litigation).

A state of emergency was declared in eleven states in response to Winter Storm Jonas, which slammed the East Coast last week, killing at least 37 people and leaving 250,000 people without power, according to the Weather Channel. 

A state of emergency was declared in eleven states in response to Winter Storm Jonas, which slammed the East Coast last week, killing at least 37 people and leaving 250,000 people without power, according to the Weather Channel. In addition, the storm could end up causing “multi-billion” dollar economic losses, reinsurance broker Aon Benfield told Fortune on Monday.

On a luminous August afternoon, civic leaders from across the country gathered before the longstanding canopy of brick arches at The Council of State Governments’ home in Lexington, Ky., to observe a milestone in the organization’s history. Casting shadows on the pavement, the group watched as David Adkins, the council’s ninth executive director, joined CSG national leaders on Aug. 31, 2015, for a rededication of the headquarters after an extensive, $5.5 million renovation to the building where CSG got its start in Kentucky nearly 50 years ago. The council’s history, however, dates back even further

Econ Piggy

The Nation's international trade balance in goods and services. Sales of new single-family houses. Total construction activity. U.S. retail and food services sales for the month. These are just a few of the key economic indicators released on a monthly and quarterly basis by the U.S. Census Bureau, which are in turn used by both the private and public sectors to make data-driven decisions. Last week, the Census Bureau announced that the public will now get access to those data faster than ever.

The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether the President’s deferred action immigration program violates federal law or is unconstitutional. The Court will issue an opinion in United States v. Texas by the end of June 2016.

The Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program allows certain undocumented immigrants who have lived in the United States for five years and either came here as children or already have children who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents to lawfully stay and work temporarily in the United States. About 5 million people are affected.

Twenty six states sued the United States and won before the Fifth Circuit.

Civic leaders across the country have organized Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations—from marches to musical performances—to recognize the civil rights activist today, the third Monday in January. Each celebration is different. Similarly, each state can tell a different story about the origins of the holiday. Some states, in fact, even call the holiday by a slightly different name, recognizing Confederate leader Robert E. Lee on the same day or honoring all individuals who have fought for justice.

On Jan. 12, President Obama delivered his last State of the Union address. Expressing a hopeful tone, the president urged Americans and those in Congress to tone down the growing rancor and suspicion between Republicans and Democrats in order to strive for a brighter future

It was a typical oral argument at the Supreme Court in a “big” case. Protesters outside with opposing messages tried to out yell each other, but everyone inside was listening to Justice Kennedy.

In Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association the Court will decide whether to overrule a nearly 40-year old precedent requiring public sector employees who don’t join the union to pay their “fair share” of collective bargaining costs. More than 20 States have enacted statutes authorizing fair share.

If the Court doesn’t overrule Abood v. Detroit Board of Education (1977) it may instead rule that public employees may be allowed to opt-in rather than required to opt-out of paying “nonchargeable” political union expenditures.

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