CSG South

As the 2020 legislative cycle approaches, legislators across the South are preparing and pre-filing legislation to address emerging and relevant policy issues in their states. With its regional focus, the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) is uniquely positioned to identify and research current and emerging policy issues and trends. This report was prepared by Anne Roberts Brody, policy and program manager, and Roger Moore and...

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...

On November 30, one month before the Secretary of Commerce is supposed to report to the President the results of the census, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in New York v. Trump. In this case, a three-judge panel ruled that the Secretary of Commerce may not provide the President with a census count that excludes undocumented persons. The state-by-state population breakdown the Secretary of...

The issue in Lange v. California is whether a police officer may enter a person’s house without a warrant when the officer has probable cause to believe he or she has committed a misdemeanor.

Right before Arthur Gregory Lange turned into his driveway and after following him for a while, Officer Weikert turned on his lights to pull him over for playing music loudly and unnecessarily beeping his horn right. Lange didn’t pull over. He later claimed to not notice...

The Supreme Court has frozen in place a district court order requiring the Census Bureau to continue counting people through October 31. As a result, the Census Bureau may immediately stop the count.  

The Census Bureau lost 47 dates of field operations (counting people) due to COVID-19 between March and May. In April it announced it would extend field operations until October 31. In August it changed the ending date of field operations to September 30...

Justice Kagan denied an emergency petition asking the Supreme Court to freeze a district court decision allowing counties to send mail ballots to all registered voters. Forty-five of Montana’s 56 counties have opted to conduct the general election by mail ballot. Following this ruling these counties will be able to do so; in person voting also will be available in all Montana counties.

Montana law states that “a...

In the Supreme Court’s first non-COVID-19 related emergency case regarding a state election requirement relevant to the 2020 presidential election, Justice Breyer refused to overturn a state court decision which allows Maine to use ranked-choice voting.

Maine statute describes ranked-choice voting as a “method of casting and tabulating votes in which voters rank candidates in order of preference, tabulation proceeds in...

In National Urban League v. Ross the Ninth Circuit allowed a lower court ruling to stay in effect requiring the census count to continue through October 31. But it blocked the portion of the lower court ruling that the federal government may not attempt to meet the December 31 statutory deadline for...

The confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett begin on Monday. Judge Barrett undoubtably will be asked about her views on the Affordable Care Act, guns, and abortion. Like her predecessors, she will try to say as little as possible about her views on hot button issues.

But what about her thoughts on less controversial topics the Supreme Court decides on a more regular basis, upon which states and local governments may...

In Andino v. Middleton the Supreme Court has continued its trend of striking down judge-made changes to state election laws in response to COVID-19. The Supreme Court froze in place a district court order which prohibited South Carolina from enforcing its ballot witness requirement. But the Court stated that any ballots received within...

Pages