The NCSL Blog

Civil and Criminal Justice

30
SCOTUS Strikes Down Louisiana Abortion Law

In a 5-4 decision in June Medical Services v. Russo the Supreme Court struck down Louisiana’s admitting privileges law. Five justices agreed that Louisiana’s law created an unconstitutional “substantial obstacle” to women obtaining abortions.

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29
 New Guidance From SBA Eliminates Some Eligibility Requirements for Criminal Records

The Small Business Administration has issued new guidance easing eligibility restrictions for individuals with a criminal record–one week before the June 30 deadline to apply.

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22
Lawmakers Comment on George Floyd Killing, Racism

Like most Americans, state legislators have been moved deeply by the killing of George Floyd and the resulting protests and conversations.

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19
House, Senate, White House Consider Police Reform in Wake of Protests

Days of protests across the nation following the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody have drawn swift and ongoing responses on the federal level. Police reform legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate in recent weeks, while President Donald Trump signed an executive order on policing on June 16.

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18
Supreme Court Allows DACA to Continue

In a 5-4 decision in DHS v. Regents of the University of California, the Supreme Court held that the decision to wind-down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program violated the Administrative Procedures Act.

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17
Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Qualified Immunity and Gun Cases

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 significant implications for states and local governments.  

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17

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.

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17
NCSL Launches Tracking Database for Legislative Responses for Policing

Using NCSL’s new Legislative Responses for Policing State Bill Tracking Database you can track bills as they progress through state legislatures across the US and keep track of new proposals.

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17
Supreme Court Finds Ineffective Assistance of Counsel in Capital Case

In Andrus v. Texas, the Supreme Court held 6-3 in an unauthored opinion that defense counsel was unconstitutionally ineffective in representing Terrance Andrus in a capital murder case because counsel failed to present mitigating evidence during the sentencing hearing.

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15
SCOTUS Rules Employers May Be Sued for Sex Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination

In a 6-3 decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, the U.S. 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.

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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.