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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

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
  • CitiesSpeak

Given the Supreme Court’s prominent role in deciding important issues of the day, it is easy to get caught up in the latest juicy Court mishap.  Justice Scalia erroneously depicted precedent in his dissent in EPA v. EME Homer City Generation…

Supreme Court
Supreme Court
  • CitiesSpeak
By Ildar Sagdejev, via Wikimedia Commons

In Heien v. North Carolina, a police officer pulled over a car because he thought North Carolina law required that motor vehicles have two working brake lights.  It turns out the officer was wrong…

Police car
Police car
  • CitiesSpeak

Does an anonymous, unverified tip of dangerous driving justify a traffic stop? Yes, says a divided Supreme Court.

In Prado Navarette v. California, an anonymous 911 caller reported that a vehicle had run her off the road. …

Police car
Police car