The RELACS Report

2/18/2022
RELACS
Research Editorial Legal and Committee Staff

Welcome to The RELACS Report, the online journal of the Research, Editorial, Legal and Committee Staff (RELACS) professional association of NCSL.

This is the place to find articles on topics relevant to the various roles you, the association members, perform for your state legislatures, to get news from state legislatures across the country and to learn about the professional development opportunities provided by RELACS and NCSL.

The editorial board invites you to contribute your own knowledge and expertise! Please see our submission guidelines for more information.


Cases

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14
The Applicability of Common Law Privileges in Legislative Hearings

This article discusses a Supreme Court decision that made an unxepected statement in the majority opinion regarding whether witnesses can claim common law privileges in legislative hearings.

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29
SCOTUS Rules State Legislatures Can’t Copyright Statutory Annotations

In Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org the Supreme Court held 5-4 that non-binding, explanatory legal materials created by state legislatures cannot be copyrighted.

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07
When More is More

A 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' opinion begins, “For want of a comma, we have this case.”

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14
Do You Really Need to Say “But Not Limited To”?

Residents of a town, in Colorado, sued the town’s trustees for raising taxes to bury electric and telephone cables by creating a special district. The citizens argued that the state statute’s definition of public utility which included the phrase “and shall include” meant that the list, “city, county, special district…” was exhaustive. Learn how the court interpreted this statute in the case.

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08

State and local governments have experienced a winning streak with qualified immunity like no other. In only two cases since 1982 has the U.S. Supreme Court denied police officers qualified immunity. In the last few years the Supreme Court has reversed a handful of lower court cases denying police officers qualified immunity each term. This may not seem like a big deal but the court is deciding fewer than 70 cases per term. 

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