Capitol Comments

McKinney v. Arizona is an excellent illustration of the complexity and disagreement on the Supreme Court over the death penalty. The Supreme Court held 5-4 that a court rather than a jury may reweigh improperly excluded mitigating evidence in a death penalty case on collateral review.

In 1992 James McKinney was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder. To receive the death penalty at least one aggravating circumstance must be found. A...

The Second Circuit has become the first federal court of appeals to rule in favor of the Attorney General’s decision to add conditions to receiving federal Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (Byrne JAG) grants.

Congress created Byrne JAG in 2006 to provide “flexible” funds for state and...

In Fulton v. City of Philadelphia the Supreme Court will decide whether local governments may refuse to contract with foster care agencies who will not work with gay couples…and possibly much, much more.

The City of Philadelphia long contracted with Catholic Social Services (CSS) to place foster care children. The City stopped doing so when it discovered CSS wouldn’t work with same-sex couples. Philadelphia requires...

The State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) amicus brief in City of Chicago, Illinois v. Fulton argues that the Supreme Court should rule that a local government need not immediately return a vehicle impounded because of code violations upon a debtor filing for bankruptcy.

The City of Chicago impounds...

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...

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