Lisa Soronen

Author Articles

In a 5-4 decision in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, New York v. Cuomo, the Supreme Court has prevented New York’s governor from enforcing certain restrictions on attendance at religious services due to COVID-19. Until this decision, the Supreme Court had allowed all challenged stay-at-home orders which it reviewed on an emergency basis to remain in effect. The Chief Justice dissented as did Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan.     

The...

In an amicus brief in Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski the State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) argues that when a government entity changes a policy after a lawsuit has been filed and the plaintiff only asks for nominal damages the case is moot.

Two Georgia Gwinnett College students sued the college over its Freedom of Expression policy,...

In United States v. Cooley the Supreme Court will decide whether tribal police have the authority to temporarily detain and search a non-Indian on a public right-of-way within a reservation based on a potential violation of state or federal law.

The Ninth Circuit held the tribal officer has no such authority unless a legal violation is “obvious” or “apparent.” If it isn’t, any evidence obtained in the search must not be used against...

The issue the Supreme Court will decide in Caniglia v. Strom is whether the Fourth Amendment “community caretaking” exception to the warrant requirement extends to the home.

A police officer determined Edward Caniglia was “imminently dangerous to himself and others” after the previous evening he had thrown a gun on the dining room table and said something to his wife like “shoot me now and get it over with.” Officers convinced Caniglia to go...

The Supreme Court has required governments to pay “just compensation” to property owners where the government “requires an owner to suffer a permanent physical invasion of her property—however minor.” But what if the invasion is temporary? In Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid, the Supreme Court will decide whether a taking has occurred.

The U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment allows the government to “take” private property as long...

Today the Supreme Court heard oral argument in California v. Texas. In this case it is possible the Supreme Court could rule that a portion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional and strike down the entire law.

Predicting the outcome of Supreme Court cases based on oral argument is a risky proposition. Nevertheless, it appeared at...

In a very brief, unauthored opinion the Supreme Court denied qualified immunity in Taylor v. Riojas to a number of correctional officers who confined Trent Taylor to a “pair of shockingly unsanitary cells” for six days. The Court didn’t hear oral argument in this case, and Justice Barrett didn’t participate in it.

In the last decade the Supreme Court has repeatedly overturned lower court refusals to grant police officers qualified immunity....

In a 5-3 decision the U.S. Supreme Court disallowed a lower court decision to go into effect which would have allowed absentee ballots to be counted if they were received as late as November 9, as long as they were postmarked on or before election day. As a result, Wisconsin absentee ballots must be...

The Supreme Court has frozen a district court order that lifted Alabama’s ban on curbside voting. As a result, curbside voting must discontinue in Alabama.

Alabama law is silent on curbside voting. A number of Alabama counties were offering it due to COVID-19. Alabama’s Secretary of State, John Merrill, has taken the position that curbside voting violates state law and has banned it. A federal district court...

In a 4-4 decision the U.S. Supreme Court allowed a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision that requires ballots received up to three days after the election to be counted to stand. Ballots clearly postmarked after 8 PM on election night will not be counted if they arrive after 5 PM on November 6.

Only if a ballot is clearly postmarked after 8 PM on election night will it not be counted if it arrives by 5 PM on November...

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