Courts

Eleven States Join DOJ in Antitrust Lawsuit Against Google

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Police in Colorado take off-road vehicles to homeless encampment to provide vaccines and Covid tests … Can city recoup cancelled RNC costs? … Colleges require flu shots.

Federal Judge Rejects Work Requirement Changes in Food Stamp Program

Nineteen states and Washington, D.C., had filed a lawsuit challenging the USDA's changes to food assistance, which would have cut 700,000 adults from the program.

Texas Can Limit Counties to a Single Ballot Drop-off Location, Appeals Court Rules

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday ruled that Texas can mandate only one drop-off location for absentee ballots in each county, reversing a lower court ruling on Gov. Greg Abbott's order earlier this month.

A Warning From Michigan

COMMENTARY | The state previews how far Republican judges will go to obstruct Democrats in office.

Maine Hires Lawyers With Criminal Records to Defend Its Poorest Residents

Maine is the only state in the country with no public defender system. Instead, legal services for the poor are left to private attorneys, who face disproportionately high amounts of discipline, and an office that doesn’t supervise them.

In One State, Advocacy Groups Sue Over New Limit on the Number of Ballot Drop-Off Locations

Texas recently changed its election rules, limiting the number of drop-off sites in which voters can deposit their absentee ballots to one per county.

Conservatives Are Challenging Private Grants to Help Local Officials Run Elections

An initiative backed by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is giving grants to local election offices that face funding shortages as a result of the pandemic. Conservative groups in several states have sued, saying the efforts are meant to boost the Democratic vote.

Plea Bargaining Needs to be More Transparent, Report Argues

Widespread plea bargaining in the criminal justice system may be fueling racial inequities and leading innocent people to plead guilty, says a new report from the Vera Institute of Justice.

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.