The NCSL Blog

U.S. Supreme Court

09
What Might a Justice Barrett Mean for States and Local Governments?

The confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett begin on Monday. She undoubtably will be asked about her views on the Affordable Care Act, guns, and abortion. Like her predecessors, she will try to say as little as possible about her views on hot button issues. But what about her thoughts on less controversial topics the Supreme Court decides on a more regular basis, upon which states and local governments may have more agreement like land use, qualified immunity, and free speech?

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08
U.S. Supreme Court Overturns Judge-Made Change to South Carolina Absentee Voting Requirement

In Andino v. Middleton the Supreme Court has continued its trend of striking down judge-made changes to state election laws in response to COVID-19.

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08
Supreme Court to Decide Significant Voting Case

In Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether Arizona’s refusal to count out-of-precinct votes violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and whether Arizona’s limits on third-party ballot collection violate Section 2 of the VRA and the 15th Amendment.

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28
State/Local Government Cases SCOTUS Will Hear While Down a Justice

Unless something surprising happens, Judge Amy Coney Barrett is expected to take the bench before the Supreme Court hears the most recent challenge to the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act on Nov. 10. But before she is confirmed the court will hear 10 cases in its October siting with only eight justices on the bench. 

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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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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.