Lisa Soronen

Author Articles

James Kahler shot his wife, her grandmother, and his two daughters after his wife filed for divorce and moved out with their children. He argued that Kansas “unconstitutionally abolished the insanity defense” by allowing the conviction of a mentally ill person “who cannot tell the difference between right and wrong.” The Supreme Court disagreed.

In Kahler v. Kansas the Supreme Court held 6-3 that the Constitution’s Due Process Clause does not...

In Allen v. Cooper the Supreme Court held unanimously that a state cannot be sued for copyright infringement. In short, the Court found that Congress lacked the authority to strip states of their sovereign immunity in the Copyright Remedy Clarification Act (CRCA) of 1990.

After the pirate Blackbeard’s flagship Queen Anne’s Revenge was discovered in 1996 off the coast of Beaufort, North Carolina, the current owner of the ship, North...

In Comcast v. National Association of African-American Owned Media the Supreme Court held unanimously that a plaintiff who sues under 42 U.S.C. §1981 must plead and prove that race was the but-for cause of his or her injury. This case is particularly relevant to states and local governments as employers. The but-for causation is a standard favorable to employers.

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In Jones v. Mississippi the Supreme Court will decide whether the Eighth Amendment requires the sentencing authority to make a finding that a juvenile is “permanently incorrigible” before imposing a sentence of life without parole.

In Miller v. Alabama (2012) the Supreme Court held that the Eighth Amendment bars life-without-parole sentences “for all but the rarest of...

Excessive force is a violation of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” In Torres v. Madrid the State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) filed a Supreme Court amicus ...

In a 5-4 decision in Kansas v. Garcia the Supreme Court held that the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) does not preempt state statutes that provide a basis for identity theft prosecutions when someone uses another person’s Social Security Number on their state and federal tax-withholding forms.

The IRCA requires employers to verify, using a federal work-authorization form, that an employee is authorized to work in the United States....

Today the Supreme Court heard oral argument in its first abortion case since Justice Kennedy left the bench and was replaced by Justice Kavanaugh. The outcome of this case is likely to come down to Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kavanaugh.  

In June Medical Services v. Russo the Supreme Court will decide whether Louisiana’s law requiring physicians performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital is...

In Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants the State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) has filed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to narrow its opinion in...

In Texas v. California and California v. Texas the Supreme Court will decide whether the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate is unconstitutional. More importantly, if the Court holds that it is, it will decide whether the individual mandate is severable from the ACA. It is possible the Court will conclude it isn’t and that the entire law is...

The Supreme Court was supposed to decide whether D.C. Sniper Lee Boyd Malvo could have his Virginia sentence of life in prison without parole reconsidered. The Supreme Court dismissed this case because Virginia just passed a law making all juvenile offenders eligible for parole after 20 years. Even if paroled in Virginia, Malvo faces six additional life sentences in Maryland.

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