Lisa Soronen

Author Articles

The Supreme Court refuses to hear thousands of cases a year. So, the denial of a petition, or even multiple petitions on the same issue, is rarely noteworthy. On Monday the Supreme Court denied nine petitions involving qualified immunity and 10 petitions involving guns. Had the Court accepted any of these petitions the case would have had...

In a 6-3 decision in Bostock v. Clayton County the Supreme Court held that gay and transgender employees may sue their employers under Title VII for discriminating against them because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlaws employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin.

This case will significantly affect states and local...

The doctrine of qualified immunity protects state and local officials from individual liability unless the official violated a clearly established constitutional right. Some of the police reform bills Congress is considering eliminate qualified immunity for state and local police and correctional officers.

What does it mean for a state or local official to have qualified immunity and what would the impact be if it was eliminated?

The evolution of qualified immunity began in 1871 when Congress adopted 42 U.S.C. § 1983...

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Lomax v. Ortiz that a dismissal without prejudice for failure to state a claim counts as a strike under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). The State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) filed an amicus brief in this case arguing for this result.

The PLRA contains a...

On Friday night, close to midnight, the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision rejected a request from a number of California churches to strike down the portion of California governor’s stay-at-home order limiting attendance at places of worship to 25% of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees.

Chief Justice Roberts wrote a brief, concurring opinion explaining his vote. First, he noted that the churches face a high bar in obtaining...

The Supreme Court heard oral argument in two cases involving subpoenas of President Trump’s pre-presidency tax returns and other financial documents from third parties.

Trump v. Mazars involves House Committees’ subpoenas of the President’s financial records. According to the House Committees, the Supreme...

In Kelly v. United States the Supreme Court unanimously overturned the federal fraud convictions of the Bridgegate masterminds because they didn’t seek to obtain money or property.

The Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey, refused to support then-governor Chris Christie’s re-election. As punishment, under the guise of conducting a traffic study, one of Christie’s staff members and two high ranking Port Authority employees decided to close...

With no details or dissents, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for an emergency stay of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision upholding Governor Tom Wolf’s executive order “compelling the closure of the physical operations of all businesses and entities that he deemed to be nonlife-sustaining.”

Wolf allowed non-life sustaining...

Beginning this week for the first time ever the Supreme Court is holding oral argument over the phone and allowing the public to listen in live. Today’s argument in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania illustrates the myriad ways live, phone argument is different from the traditional in-person version. 

Other than Justice Thomas asking questions, the Chief Justice’s role is the most...

The Supreme Court refused to lift its stay of federal court orders that prevented the Trump administration from making changes to the definition of public charge. 

Immigrants who are deemed a “public charge” are ineligible to receive green cards/lawful permanent resident status. The most recent definition of public charge, adopted in 1999, included immigrants who demonstrated a need for “institutionalization for long-term care at government expense” or “receipt of public cash assistance for income maintenance.”

In...

Pages

Subscribe to Author Articles