On July 1, 2014, the Supreme Court granted cert in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, a case in which the Ninth Circuit upheld the Town of Gilbert’s sign ordinance against a First-Amendment challenge. The case could directly impact...more
If you eat, talk on the phone, and escape the rain in your car, are you using the car “as living quarters either overnight, day-by-day, or otherwise?”
What if you load up the car with personal belongings for a camping...more
A local government can create a 35-foot buffer zone to restrict speech on a public street only if it has first made a serious effort to address the issue in other ways.
Originally published on the IMLA Appellate...more
In addition to addressing local-government prayer, the Supreme Court also decided to hear and answer another question impacting local governments: when a city denies a request to place a cell tower, how formally must it...more
The 5-4 decision found that Town of Greece’s prayer practice is consistent with practices long permitted in American legislative assemblies.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that it is constitutional for a town board...more
A County retirement-benefit plan requires an employee to contribute a percentage of his salary to the plan.
But not all employees contribute at the same rate.
Instead, an older employee must contribute at a...more
The Second Amendment confers an individual right to keep and bear arms.
We know that now—after decades of uncertainty—because the Supreme Court said so in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008).
Congress grants a railroad a right-of-way across public land.
The federal government then grants the land to a private landowner, who takes the parcel subject to the railroad right-of-way.
The railroad later...more
BB&K is Assembling a Coalition of Local Governments and Educators to Provide Input to FCC -
The Federal Communication Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) released a second public notice seeking focused...more
We’ve blogged previously about an FCC wireless-siting rulemaking that could affect the zoning of wireless-service facilities in almost every U.S. community. The formal comment period has now closed, and dozens of comments...more
May a city require adult bookstores but not other establishments to close between midnight and 10am every night and all day Sunday?
Originally published on the IMLA Appellate Practice Blog - January 27, 2014....more
Local governments often establish fixed buffer zones to eliminate congestion and to ensure public safety. Does the First Amendment require a significant change in current local practices?
Next Wednesday, January 15th,...more
When T-Mobile sought to place a cell-tower in a park owned by the City of Huntington Beach, California, the City granted the company all the regulatory approvals it required. But the City also informed T-Mobile that before...more
Decision Could Be Relevant to Upcoming FCC Rulemaking -
An appellate court last week ruled that a provision of the federal Communications Act limiting how a local government may regulate the “placement, construction,...more
If a public employee reports departmental-safety concerns to his supervisor, and the employee is removed from duty for raising those concerns, does the employee have a viable First Amendment retaliation...more
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today formally released and requested comment on proposed rules to accelerate the expansion of wireless broadband services nationwide, which could limit local governments’ zoning...more
Many cities have struggled with the effects of foreclosures.
But given the complex mix of state laws that often governs the issue, how much authority do local governments have in this area?
A First Circuit case,...more
The Federal Communications Commission is considering adopting rules that could limit local governments’ zoning authority and allow wireless-service providers to add facilities to existing buildings, towers, and other...more
Eagle Cove believed that its religion required it to hold its Bible camp in only one place: on its lake-side property in Oneida County, Wisconsin. But the County had zoned the property for residential use only.
The first significant case affecting local governments in this new Supreme Court term – Madigan v. Levin – ended poorly. The Court resolved the case with a DIG – the Court dismissed it as improvidently granted.
In This Presenation:
The Federal Communications Commission is considering adopting rules that could limit local governments’ zoning authority and allow wireless-service providers to add facilities to existing...more
You licensed your special-district property to wireless communications companies that installed antennas and other communication facilities. You had the space. They were willing to pay for it. It just made sense. Didn't...more
The U.S. Supreme Court's recent term included decisions in several cases with implications on states and states' rights. This presentation included the court's review and opinions handed down for the following cases.
If a governmental authority denies approval of a land-use permit because an applicant refuses to spend money on a government project, such as a mitigation project, the government must defend its denial under heightened...more
The United States Supreme Court issued its decision in City of Arlington v. FCC, ruling that if an agency has general rulemaking or adjudicative power under a statute, courts must defer to all of the agency’s reasonable...more