The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled on October 20th that cities do not have the authority to raise the minimum wage standard.

It is of course too soon to know (but never too soon to speculate)!

While still a candidate, President-elect Trump released two lists of potential Supreme Court nominees to fill the current vacancy on the Court. While he has indicated that these lists are definitive, only time will tell whether he will in fact stick to them when making a nomination. Both lists were well-received by conservatives.

President Trump should have little trouble getting a conservative nominee through the majority-Republican Senate. If Senate Democrats filibuster Trump’s nominee, Senate Republicans are likely to exercise the “nuclear option,” meaning only a simple majority of Senators will be needed to confirm the nominee.    

Policy makers in Kansas have long been pushing for a proof-of-citizenship requirement for voter registration. In January 2016, newly appointed EAC executive director Brian Newby unilaterally altered the federal voter registration form to require proof of citizenship, which affects Kansas, Georgia and Alabama. In the most recent development of this situation, a top District of Columbia appeals court overturned his decision removing the proof-of-citizenship requirement from federal voter registration forms.

A detailed look at two issues impacting judges: The unsuccessful push by judges to increase or repeal mandatory judicial retirement ages, and the ongoing struggle judges have maintaining established judicial benefits.

State courts adopted unprecedented cost-saving strategies and innovations during the Great Recession. Today, courts continue to embrace this legacy of innovation to maintain, and even improve, the administration of justice. The projects featured in this article highlight the large gains and potential for future innovation in the state courts.

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.

Chapter 5 of the 2016 Book of the States contains the following articles and tables:

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation on May 18 that will allow him to name two new justices to the Arizona Supreme Court, bringing the number of justices to seven from the current five-member court. But how does the number of justices on the Arizona Supreme Court compare to courts of last resort in other states? Here’s a state-by-state look at the number of judicial seats on state courts of last resort from The Book of the States 2015.

Merrill Lynch v. Manning is a victory for state courts. It’s just complicated to explain how.

Per a general federal court jurisdiction statute, Section 1331, federal courts have jurisdiction over all civil lawsuits “arising under” federal law. Section 27 of the Securities Exchange Act provides federal court jurisdiction for all suits “brought to enforce” the Exchange Act.  

In Merrill Lynch v. Manning the Supreme Court held that “arising under” and “brought to enforce” mean the same thing. If a lawsuit, involving violating securities law, such as the one in this case, only includes state law claims that don’t necessarily raise federal issues that lawsuit doesn’t “arise under” federal law. Per the Court’s opinion it also therefore isn’t “brought to enforce” the Exchange Act and must be heard in state court.

In Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt the Supreme Court held 6-2 that the Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause requires state courts to apply a damages cap, which applies to the state, to  foreign states and local governments sued in its court.

The State and Local Legal Center filed an amicus brief in this case asking the Court to reach this result. State and local governments are frequently sued out-of-state and will benefit if other states’ immunities apply to them.  

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