Lisa Soronen

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This term the U.S. Supreme Court will hear at least five cases involving Fourth Amendment searches.  Two involve drug sniffing dogs, one involves warrantless blood draws from DUI suspects, and another involves detaining a person who has left the premises before executing a search warrant.  In Maryland v. King the Supreme Court will decide whether the Fourth Amendment allows states to collect and analyze DNA, without a warrant, from people arrested and charged with serious crimes. 

The State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) filed an amicus brief in Maryland v. King, which CSG signed onto, because this case involves a challenge to the constitutionality of a state statute.  In fact, twenty-eight states and the federal government have adopted DNA arrest laws. 

Remember Nollan and Dolan?  The U.S. Supreme Court will decide a case which the Florida Supreme Court calls the clearest inconsistency in the interpretation of the scope of Nollan and Dolan in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District.  CSG signed onto an amicus brief filed by State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) in this case.  

Need a Nollan and Dolan refresher?  In these cases the U.S. Supreme Court held that when the government requests the dedication of land as a condition for issuing a permit there must be an “essential nexus” between the dedication of land and denying the permit and “rough proportionality” between the dedication of land and the impact of the development.   

Remember Nollan and Dolan?  The U.S. Supreme Court will decide a case which the Florida Supreme Court calls the clearest inconsistency in the interpretation of the scope of Nollan and Dolan in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District.  CSG signed onto an amicus brief filed by State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) in this case.  

Need a Nollan and Dolan refresher?  In these cases the U.S. Supreme Court held that when the government requests the dedication of land as a condition for issuing a permit there must be an “essential nexus” between the dedication of land and denying the permit and “rough proportionality” between the dedication of land and the impact of the development.   

The issue the Supreme Court will decide in City of Arlington & Cable, Telecommunications, and Technology Committee v. FCC is whether courts should defer to a federal agency’s determination that it has authority to interpret a statute.   If this issue seems a bit esoteric, the facts of the case help illustrate what is at stake for state government. 

For the third time in two Supreme Court terms, the Court will decide a Medicaid case.  While Delia v. E.M.A. isn’t nearly as big of a deal as the Affordable Care Act case, it is significant for a least two reasons, from the perspective of state government.  First, the case involves preemption of a state statute.  Second, during a time when Medicaid costs are skyrocketing, this case will affect states’ ability to...

If you did, you may view and listen to a recording of the webinar here:  https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/938598930

In this webinar Lisa Soronen, SLLC Executive Director, discusses the most important cases accepted so far affecting state and local government including four environmental cases, four Fourth Amendment search cases, a Chevron deference case, and a voter registration case out of Arizona; a few of the Court’s likely big grants (same sex marriage, constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, Fair Housing Act disparate impact claims); and the Court’s most prominent grant to date (a challenge to the University of Texas-Austin’s affirmative action program). 

To say the Supreme Court’s October 2011 term was “all about the states” is hardly an overstatement.  The two most prominent cases of the term—the Affordable Care Act case and the Arizona immigration case—were both about states’ rights.  (And if the Court takes a gay marriage case next term it will be states’ rights round two). 

So far the most controversial case the U.S. Supreme Court has accepted for its October 2012 term involves the University of Texas-Austin’s affirmative action plan.  Will it take a gay marriage case is the big question.  If the Court’s objective is to lie low after deciding two particularly controversial cases—the Affordable Care Act cases and Arizona immigration case—stormwater runoff might be a safe subject matter to take up.  This perhaps explains why the Court has accepted not one but two stormwater runoff cases! 

The Ninth Circuit (AK, AZ, CA, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR, WA) has a reputation for listening to the beat of its own drummer.  And the Supreme Court has a reputation of taking the drum back and correcting the beat.  Will this happen in Los Angeles County Flood Control District v. Natural Resources Defense Council?  The State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) has filed an amicus brief in this case, which CSG has signed onto, and thinks (and hopes!) so. 

The controversy in Los Angeles County Flood Control District v. Natural Resources Defense Council is over whether the Los Angeles County Flood Control District has violated a federal permit because of the level of pollutants from stormwater that it gathers in municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) located in two California Rivers.        

If you did, you may view and listen to a recording of the webinar here:  https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/599978554

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