The NCSL Blog

Civil and Criminal Justice

26
Responding to the Growth of Local Jails

At least 700,000 people were held in local jails each day during 2015, making the first time local jail population reached that number. By contrast, the number in 1970 was just 157,000 people.

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05
Same-Sex Parents Can be on Birth Certificate: SCOTUS

In this case the U.S. Supreme Court reversed an Arkansas Supreme Court judgment that an Arkansas statute, which allows only the biological mother of a child born to a same-sex married couple to be listed on the birth certificate, is constitutional.

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05
SCOTUS Explains State Mental Health Obligations to Indigent Defendants

In McWilliams v. Dunn the Supreme Court disagreed 5-4 with a lower court’s determination that a capital defendant received all the mental health expert assistance the Constitution requires.

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27
SCOTUS Rules Church Preschool Playground Can Get Public Funds

Like all U.S. Supreme Court cases, this one raised two questions: Which side would win and how broad would the opinion be. Only time will answer the latter question.  

 

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27
Juvenile Justice Working Group Gathers for First Meeting

Earlier this month, a new NCSL work group formed to develop a set of bedrock principles of effective juvenile justice state policy, met for the first time in Newport Beach, Calif.

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07
Supreme Court Rules for City in Standing Case

Justice Neil Gorsuch’s first opinion in a case involving state and local government doesn’t tell us much. He simply joined a brief, unanimous opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito involving lawsuit interveners and standing.

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15
SLLC Files Brief in Case Refining the Definition of Probable Cause

Imagine how often, when police officers are deciding whether to arrest someone, they are told a version of a story they don’t find believable.

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17
Lessons From a Scandal: Have Investigative Tools in Place

After a wild weekend with a state court’s restraining order being overturned by the Alabama Supreme Court, the House Judiciary Committee was ready to begin impeachment hearings over Governor Robert Bentley’s indiscretions.

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17
Supreme Court to Decide D.C. Statute of Limitations Case

Stephanie Artis sued the District of Columbia in federal court a year after the fact, bringing a number of federal and state law claims related to her termination as a code inspector. It took the federal district court over two and a half years to rule on her claims. It dismissed her sole federal claim as “facially deficient” and no longer had jurisdiction to decide the state law claims.

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12
SCOTUS: Lower Court Decisions in EEOC Subpoenas Deserve Deference

The essence of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in McLane v. EEOC is federal courts of appeals are busy and their jobs should not be made any harder.

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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.