The NCSL Blog

U.S. Supreme Court

21
Supreme Court to Decide Jury Unanimity Case

In Ramos v. Louisiana, accepted for consideration this week, the Supreme Court will consider whether the Sixth Amendment requiring a unanimous verdict in criminal jury trials applies to the states.

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20
Washington State Loses Tribal Tax Supreme Court Case

In this case, the Supreme Court held 5-4 that a treaty forbids the state of Washington from imposing a tax upon members of the Yakama Nation who import fuel.

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19
Supreme Court to Hear Immigration Pre-emption Case

The question the Supreme Court will decide in Kansas v. Garcia is whether the IRCA pre-empts states from using information contained in the I-9 to prosecute a person under state law (in this case for identity theft).

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06
SLLC Files Amicus Brief in SCOTUS Employment Discrimination Case

Details matter. How much is the question in Fort Bend County v. Davis.

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28
SCOTUS Reaffirms Rational Understanding Required for Executions

Madison v. Alabama provides clarity rather than makes new law. In this case the Supreme Court held 5-3 that the Eighth Amendment prohibits a person who lacks a “rational understanding” due to mental illness for why the death penalty has been imposed to be put to death regardless of what mental illness the person is suffering from.  

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26
SCOTUS: States Can't Discriminate Against Federal Retirees

In a unanimous decision the Supreme Court held in Dawson v. Steager that West Virginia violated a federal statute by taxing all the retirement benefits of former federal law enforcement employees but not certain state law enforcement employees. 

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21
Supreme Court Decides Civil Forfeiture Case Against States and Local Governments

Indiana sought to forfeit Tyson Timbs’ Land Rover which he used to transport heroin. The trial court concluded the forfeiture was unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause because the value of the vehicle well exceeded the maximum statutory fine for the felony Timbs plead guilty to.

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21
SCOTUS Rules Defendant is Intellectually Disabled (and Can't Be Executed)

In an unauthored opinion in Moore v. Texas II the Supreme Court concluded Bobby James Moore has intellectual disability. In Atkins v. Virginia (2002) the Supreme Court held that persons with intellectual disability can’t be executed.

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20
Supreme Court to Decide Groundwater Clean Water Act Case

If a state or local government discharges a pollutant from a point source to a navigable water it must obtain a permit under the Clean Water Act (CWA). But what if that pollutant is conveyed in something—say groundwater—between the point source and the navigable water?

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15
Supreme Court to Review Census Citizenship Question

A case that will determine whether a citizenship question will appear on the 2020 census will be heard in April by the Supreme Court.

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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.