The NCSL Blog

Entries for November 2015

24
Judicial Bias Death Penalty Case on SCOTUS Docket

Does a judge presiding over a case his office worked on when he was prosecutor have to recuse himself—particularly if his vote wouldn’t make a difference in the outcome of the case?

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Category: Public Policy
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23
California Latest State to Pass 'Death With Dignity'

In early October, California’s End of Life Option Act made the state the most recent to legalize physician aid in dying (also known as physician assisted suicide), a process that allows terminally ill patients to receive life-ending medication from physicians.

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Category: Public Policy
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23
States Convince Court to Halt Deferred Deportation Policy

Texas and 25 additional states successfully convinced the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's deferred deportation and work authorization policy. It is anticipated the federal government will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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23
Unlikely Allies Gather to Discuss Criminal Justice

What do the ACLU and Americans for Tax Reform have in common? Criminal justice reform.

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Category: Public Policy
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19
Racial Gerrymander or Partisan Plan? SCOTUS to Decide

When the Virginia legislature redrew congressional voting districts following the 2010 census it increased the number of minority voters in District 3, the state’s only majority-minority district, from 53.1 to 56.3 percent.

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Category: Public Policy
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19
Abortion, Obamacare on SCOTUS Docket

Recently, the Supreme Court’s already interesting docket got even more high profile. First, it agreed to decide whether the Affordable Care Act (ACA) birth control mandate violates religious nonprofits rights. Then, it agreed to decide whether a Texas abortion law is unconstitutional. 

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Category: Public Policy
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18
States Take on Wildlife Trafficking

Washington voters overwhelmingly approved Initiative 1401, perhaps the most far-reaching piece of legislation restricting wildlife trafficking ever passed by a state.

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Category: Public Policy
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17
Caucuses Link Legislative Priorities, Passions

Legislative caucuses come in all sizes, work on all sorts of issues and probably are as old as state legislatures themselves, writes Suzanne Weiss in this month’s issue of State Legislatures magazine. 

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Category: Magazine
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16
Qualified Immunity Winning Streak at the Supreme Court Rolls On

There are cringe-worthy facts on both sides of this case. Nevertheless, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the police officer qualified immunity without oral argument, over a dissent by Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

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Category: Public Policy
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16
Putting the Brakes on the Cadillac Tax

Strategies for coping with the “Cadillac tax,” an excise tax on high cost healthcare plans that will take effect in 2018, were outlined during NCSL's recent Midwest Fiscal Leaders meeting in Chicago.

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Category: Public Policy
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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.