The NCSL Blog

U.S. Supreme Court

21
Justice Ginsburg’s Impact on State and Local Government

History will remember Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died at age 87 last Friday, as a smasher of glass ceilings, a feminist, a liberal, a dissenter, and an icon. States and local governments will also remember something subtler about her which was more visible in the Supreme Court’s lower profile cases. And that was her pragmatism.

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17
Supreme Court OKs Consent Decree Changing Rhode Island Mail Ballot Requirements

The Supreme Court refused to overturn a consent decree in which Rhode Island state government officials agreed, due to COVID-19, to not enforce state law requiring the signature of two witnesses or a notary public for mail ballots.

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17
SCOTUS Won't Let Lower Court Rewrite Oregon Ballot Initiative Rules

The U.S. Supreme Court has not allowed a federal district court order to go into effect which required Oregon to include a ballot initiative with only 50% of the signatures required by Oregon’s constitution, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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04
SCOTUS Disallows Court-Ordered Changes to Idaho’s Citizen’s Initiative Process

To get a citizen’s initiative on the ballot in Idaho, petitioners must obtain signatures from 6% percent of electors by April 30. Reclaim Idaho asked to be temporarily allowed to gather signatures online due to COVID-19. It sued after state government officials informed it that Idaho statutes don’t allow electronic signatures for petitions and the governor didn’t intend to take executive action.

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28
SCOTUS Allows Nevada Governor’s COVID-19 Restrictions on Church Services to Stand

In Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley v. Sisolak the Supreme Court allowed the Nevada governor’s COVID-19 restrictions on the number of people who may attend religious services to stand.

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13
Supreme Court to Decide if Government Policy Changes May Moot a Lawsuit

The question the Supreme Court will decided in Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski is whether the government changing a policy after a lawsuit has been filed renders the case moot if the plaintiff has only asked for nominal damages. 

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09
 SCOTUS Holds a Sitting President May Be Issued a State Criminal Subpoena

President Donald Trump's tax returns are unlikely to be available to the public soon as a result of two Supreme Court cases.

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09
Supreme Court OKs ACA’s Expanded Contraceptive Mandate Exemptions

In a 7-2 decision in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania the U.S. Supreme Court held that religious employers and employers with moral objections may be exempted from the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraceptive mandate.

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08
What Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue Means for States

In a high profile 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that the state of Montana cannot exclude religious schools from receiving tax credit-funded scholarships under its school choice program. What do legislators need to know, and what does this decision mean for states?

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07
Kavanaugh Allows Illinois Governor’s Stay-at-Home Order With Religious Exemption to Stand

Without explanation, without referring the matter to the entire Supreme Court, and without calling for a response, Justice Brett Kavanaugh denied a request for an emergency injunction to strike down Illinois Governor Pritzker’s executive order limiting gatherings to 50 people while exempting religious gathering. 

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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.