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Legal & Legislative

Recognizing that the federal court system is responsible for much of the law affecting cities and their scope of authority, NLC established its Legal Advocacy Program to complement existing legislative outreach on behalf of its membership. Through the Program, NLC serves as a more effective and aggressive advocate for legal issues of national importance to local governments.

Legal & Legislative subtopics:

Recent

  • CitiesSpeak

As usual, on the last day of the Supreme Court’s term it released its opinion in the biggest case of the term: Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. The Court held 5-4 that the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate violates the Religious Freedom…

Supreme Court
Supreme Court
  • CitiesSpeak

Warrantless searches of cellphones?  Simple question.  Simple answer.  No (generally). In Riley v. California the Supreme Court held unanimously that generally police must first obtain a warrant before searching an arrested person’…

Supreme Court
Supreme Court
  • CitiesSpeak

Had Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA gone the other way it would be a big deal for cities.  But it didn’t.  Cities own many small stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases and will benefit from not having to obtain permits for…

Supreme Court
Supreme Court
  • CitiesSpeak

The Supreme Court held unanimously that the First Amendment protects a public employee who provides truthful sworn testimony, compelled by a subpoena, outside the course of his or her ordinary responsibilities. But what about the much more likely…

Supreme Court
Supreme Court
  • CitiesSpeak

Has your city even been involved in Superfund litigation either as a plaintiff or a defendant?  Or may your city be involved in such a case in the future?  If so, the Supreme Court decided a case that in some states will shorten the…

Supreme Court
Supreme Court
  • CitiesSpeak

Amicus briefs argue the sky is falling.  More specifically, amicus briefs often argue that a case is going to lead to a lot more litigation and cost someone a lot of money.  Sometimes the sky really isn’t falling or it is really hard to…

Supreme Court
Supreme Court
  • CitiesSpeak

Taxpayers X and Y live in the same state and have the same income but Taxpayer X earns all of her income in-state while Taxpayer Y earns all of her income out-of-state.

Taxpayer Y pays more in taxes because she pays income taxes out-of-…

Supreme Court
Supreme Court
  • CitiesSpeak

The Supreme Court resolves circuit splits (where federal circuit courts of appeals have decided the same issue differently) and isn’t an error correcting Court.  But you would not know that if you looked just at the Court’s two unanimous…

Supreme Court
Supreme Court
  • CitiesSpeak

In T-Mobile South v. City of Roswell the Supreme Court will decide whether a letter denying a cell tower construction application that doesn’t explain the reasons for the denial meets the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (TCA) “in writing”…

Supreme Court
Supreme Court
  • CitiesSpeak

Justice Kennedy is better known for his rhetorical flair than his practical guidance.  But his majority opinion in Town of Greece v. Galloway provides a roadmap cities can follow to stay out of trouble when beginning city council meetings…

Supreme Court
Supreme Court