Courts

Coronavirus Death Toll Passes 200,000

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | CDC advises against trick-or-treating ... Wisconsin judge grants voters extra time to return mail-in ballots ... Alaskan dog-sled race will kick off as scheduled despite pandemic.

In a Cross-State Aquifer Spat, a View of a Water-Stressed Future

Mississippi sued Memphis over its use of a deep aquifer. A possibly paradigm-shifting Supreme Court decision looms.

Minnesota Lawsuit is Latest to Challenge a Face Mask Mandate

Across the country, state and local directives imposing face mask requirements have been met with repeated court challenges.

Governor Has Authority to Close Bars During Pandemic, Federal Judge Rules

A federal judge sided with Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards in a lawsuit brought by 10 bar owners who argued that closing their businesses to prevent the spread of Covid-19 violated their constitutional rights.

Cities and Counties Join Lawsuit Challenging Shortened Census Timeline

The Trump administration earlier this month walked back plans to extend the count due to the coronavirus.

State Ban on ‘High Capacity’ Gun Magazines Violates 2nd Amendment, 9th Circuit Rules

The California law, tied up in court since it was approved by voters in 2016, would ban the possession of firearms magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds.

New York Attorney General Seeks to Dissolve National Rifle Association

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Minneapolis voters will not consider proposal to dismantle police department this fall … Governor says positive coronavirus test later came back negative … Houston City Council embraces “walkable” plan.

Appeals Courts Split on Whether Trump Administration Can Enforce 'Public Charge’ Rule

A federal appeals court says the rule penalizing immigrants for using public assistance programs can’t be enforced in three northeast states. But another court found the administration can move forward with its new standards.

States Crack Down on Large Gatherings as Covid-19 Continues to Spread

Minnesota officials are seeking damages from a ranch owner who held a three-day rodeo in defiance of state regulations on large gatherings. They say at least one attendee tested positive for Covid-19 days after the event.

States Let Law School Grads Work Without Taking the Bar Exam

Earlier this month, Louisiana cancelled the bar exam. This week the state became the fourth to enact "diploma privilege," allowing recent law school graduates to practice law without sitting for the three-day bar exam.

Trump Administration Rescinds Rule Banning International Students from Country if Only Taking Online Classes

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Hawaii extends travel quarantine mandate, but relaxes it for college students ... Massachusetts sues ride-hailing companies ... New York governor releases memorable Covid poster.

Supreme Court Says Employers Can Deny Birth Control Coverage Due to Religious or Moral Objections

In a 7-2 decision, the court said the Affordable Care Act grants the federal government power to "identify and create exemptions from its own guidelines."

Supreme Court Shows Interest in Clash Over Pipeline Builders Seizing State Land

The high court is asking the Trump administration to offer its views on the New Jersey case, which involves a roughly $1 billion natural gas pipeline project.

A Proposal to Exempt Schools from Civil Lawsuits if Students are Exposed to Covid-19 on Campus

A bill in Louisiana would shield K-12 schools, colleges and universities from many lawsuits from teachers and students who are exposed to the coronavirus on campus.

Trump Administration Weighs in Against Hawaii Quarantine Mandate for Travelers

Restrictions on out-of-state arrivals in several states have drawn court challenges. Meanwhile, New York and two other states moved ahead with a policy like this on Wednesday.

Lawmakers Push for Special Prosecutors to Oversee Cases Involving Police Killings

Proponents say assigning special prosecutors to investigate when police officers use deadly force can eliminate a potential conflict of interest among local district attorneys who regularly work with police.

Two Years After the Wayfair Decision, State Governments Still Lag on Modernizing Technology Infrastructure to Collect Online Sales Tax Revenue

COMMENTARY | Two years have passed since the landmark Supreme Court decision and the Covid-19 pandemic has put more emphasis on online sales tax revenue than ever before. As states grapple with budget shortfalls, leaders will need to carefully consider how technology is used to ensure that no tax revenue goes unaccounted for.

Gay and Transgender Workers Protected By Federal Employment Law, Supreme Court Rules

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Louisiana governor vetoes “critical infrastructure” trespassing bill … Cuomo warns maskless New Yorkers that more lockdown could be coming … Rhode Island AG wants to handle more police misconduct cases.

Multiple Gun Cases Rejected By Supreme Court

The court hasn’t handed down a major Second Amendment ruling in about a decade. On Monday, it for now put off the possibility of changing that anytime soon.

State Prosecutors and Voters—​​​​​​​Not the Feds—​​​​​​​Can Hold Corrupt Officials Accountable

COMMENTARY | U.S. Supreme Court decisions could make it more difficult to prosecute public corruption cases in federal court. But that doesn't mean there aren't other options.