Lisa Soronen

Author Articles

There is no way to know for sure why Justice Kennedy wrote a concurring opinion in Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl stating that the “legal system should find an appropriate case for this Court to reexamine Quill.”  But even if you don’t read the State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) amicus brief’s criticism of ...

For Justice Kennedy it was his questions, for Chief Justice Roberts it was his silence…

Today the Supreme Court heard oral argument in King v. Burwell, where it will decide whether federal health insurance exchanges, operating in 34 states, can offer subsidies to middle and low income purchasers of insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

Simply put, the Court must decide whether it agrees with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that the following statutory language, “established by the State,” can include federal exchanges too.

While oral argument is hardly a fool proof indicator of what the Supreme Court will do, it seemed the majority of the Justices favored the Arizona legislature in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.

The issue the Court will decide in this case is whether Arizona’s Proposition 106,...

A new Supreme Court case says state boards don’t automatically get immunity from antitrust laws. This ruling could reduce the authority of governors and state legislatures to compose state agencies, boards and commissions or create massive headaches for state leaders trying to decide what active supervision means. In North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC, the Supreme Court held 6-3 that if the majority of a state board’s members are active market participants, antitrust immunity applies only if the state actively supervises the board. The State and Local Legal Center filed an amicus brief in this case, which CSG joined, arguing that active supervision was unnecessary.

In Kansas v. Nebraska and Colorado the Supreme Court agreed with a Special Master in a dispute about water rights involving an interstate compact, that Kansas would receive partial disgorgement (a fine) but not an injunction against Nebraska and accounting procedures would be changed so that Nebraska’s use of imported water would not be count against its compact allocation. Through an interstate compact ratified in 1943, Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas share the virgin water supply originating in the Republican River Basin. The Court adopted the Master’s recommendation of $1.8 million in disgorgement because Nebraska knowingly failed to comply with the compact by knowingly exposing Kansas to a substantial risk that it would breach the contract and because water is more valuable to farmland in Nebraska than Kansas.

The Supreme Court held unanimously in January in Holt v. Hobbs that an inmate’s rights under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Rights Act were violated when he was not allowed to grow a half-inch beard in accordance with his religious beliefs. This case will affect correctional institutions with no-beard policies and may provide lower court’s guidance in evaluating the act’s claims in the corrections and land use context. Grooming policies at the Arkansas Department of Corrections prohibit inmates who do not have a particular dermatological condition from growing beards. Gregory Holt’s request to grow a half-inch beard in accordance with his Muslim religious beliefs was denied.

The question the Supreme Court will decide in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores is simple:  who must ask about the need for a religious accommodation—the employer or the...

In 2012 in Miller v. Alabama the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that states may not mandate that juvenile offenders be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.  The question in Toca v. Louisiana was whether Miller is retroactive; that is, whether it should apply to those convicted before the case was decided. 

Toca has been dismissed as George Toca has been released from prison after pleading guilty to two counts of armed robbery in exchange for his murder conviction being vacated. ...

In City & County of San Francisco v. Sheehan the Supreme Court will decide whether, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), police must accommodate a suspect’s mental illness when arresting him or her.  The State and Local Legal Center’s (SLLC) amicus brief argues no because no conclusive evidence indicates that...

Same-sex marriage and an Affordable Care Act case heard in one Supreme Court term.  Does it get any bigger than this?  

The Court will decide whether it is constitutional for states to prohibit same-sex marriage and whether states may refuse to recognize same-sex marriages lawfully performed out of state.

While the Court refused to hear a number of cases presenting the same issues earlier in the term, these grants came as little surprise.  Between then and now the Sixth Circuit ruled that same-sex marriage bans are...

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