The NCSL Blog

U.S. Supreme Court

06

Parties can ask the Supreme Court on an emergency basis to reverse a lower court’s preliminary ruling. When the court “stays” or “refuses to stay” a lower court order it isn’t ruling on the merits of the case.

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06
 Four Supreme Court Justices Question First Amendment Precedent Problematic for States and Local Governments

In Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants the Supreme Court held 6-3 that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s (TCPA) debt-collection exception was content-based, failed strict scrutiny, and therefore violated the First Amendment.

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01
SCOTUS Rules U.S. Constitution Overrides State Constitution in Religious School Aid Case

In Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the Supreme Court held 5-4 that the U.S. Constitution’s Free Exercise Clause allows families to receive tax-credit funded scholarships to attend religious schools regardless of the Montana Constitution’s no-aid to sectarian schools provision.

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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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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
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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08
SCOTUS Rules Against Inmate in Prison Litigation Reform Act Case

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Lomax v. Ortiz that a dismissal without prejudice for failure to state a claim counts as a strike under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA).

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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.