Capitol Comments

Delaware’s Constitution requires that three state courts be balanced between the two major political parties. The main question before the Supreme Court in Carney v. Adams is whether this scheme violates the First Amendment. In an amicus brief the State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) argues it does not.  

Per Delaware...

The Supreme Court has stayed a nationwide injunction which disallowed the public charge rule from going into effect anywhere in the United States. For now, the public charge rule will remain in effect across the country (except in Illinois) until the Second Circuit, and the Supreme Court, if it decides to get involved, rules in this case.

Since 1882, when Congress enacted the first comprehensive immigration statute, it prohibited the admission to the...

The Flint water crisis was one of the more notable events of the last decade. Unsurprisingly, it led to litigation. So far, the Sixth Circuit has refused to dismiss the case against a number of the state and local government officials who were sued. This week the Supreme Court refused to hear their case challenging the Sixth Circuit...

Trump v. Pennsylvania and Little Sister of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania are complicated cases. The most prominent legal issue in them is whether the Trump administration has the statutory authority to expand the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive mandate’s conscience exemption....

Presidential electors from Colorado and Washington State refused to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016 even though she won the popular vote in their states. The question in Colorado Department of State v. Baca and Chiafalo v. Washington and is whether state law can make them. 

Colorado, Washington, and 46 other states and the District...

The State and Local Legal Center’s (SLLC) Supreme Court amicus brief in Lomax v. Ortiz-Marquez  argues that a dismissal without prejudice for failure to state a claim counts as a strike under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). Less technically, the SLLC brief is aimed at decreasing meritless prisoner litigation...

What does Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants have to do with state and local governments? The question the Supreme Court will decide in this case is whether allowing robocalls for government-debt only violates the First Amendment. State and local governments aren’t likely recipients of such calls.

In one word the answer is Reed; as in Reed v. Town of Gilbert (2015). In Reed the Supreme Court held that strict (usually fatal)-scrutiny applies to content-based restrictions on speech, and the Court defined content-based broadly. In short Reed was a bad decision for state and local governments, which regularly regulate content-based speech.  

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) prohibits automatic dialing or prerecorded calls to cell phones with three exceptions—emergencies, consent, and debt collection owed to or guaranteed by the United States. The American Association of Political Consultants claims the third exception violates the First Amendment.

In Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association the Supreme Court will decide whether states’ attempts to regulate pharmacy benefit managers’ (PBMs) drug-reimbursement rates are preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

PBMs are an intermediary between health plans and pharmacies. Among other things, they set reimbursement rates to pharmacies dispensing generic drugs. Contracts between PBMs and pharmacies create pharmacy networks. According to the Eighth Circuit, “[b]ased upon these contracts and in order to participate in a preferred network, some pharmacies choose to accept lower reimbursements for dispensed prescriptions.” So, in some instance pharmacies lose money.

Arkansas passed a law requiring that pharmacies “be reimbursed for generic drugs at a price equal to or higher than the pharmacies’ cost for the drug based on the invoice from the wholesaler.”

The question the Supreme Court will decide in City of Chicago, Illinois v. Fulton is whether a local government must return a vehicle impounded because of code violations immediately upon a debtor filing for bankruptcy.

The City of Chicago impounds vehicles where debtors have three or more unpaid fines. Robbin Fulton’s vehicle was impounded for this reason. She filed for bankruptcy and asked the City to turn over her vehicle...

The question the Supreme Court will decide in McGirt v. Oklahoma may sound familiar: “whether the prosecution of an enrolled member of the Creek Tribe for crimes committed within the historical Creek boundaries is subject to exclusive federal jurisdiction.” The Supreme Court agreed to decide this very same question last term in Sharp v. Murphy. But the Court didn’t...

Pages