Constitutional Law Elections & Politics

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Politics in the Workplace: What Must Employers Allow?

Everyone has experienced both "workplace politics," in which Type A employees claw their way to the top at the expense of co-workers, and "politics in the workplace," in which employees discuss candidates for office and...more

Breaking News: Physical Presence Requirement Bill Introduced in Congress

On July 14, 2016, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced the No Regulation Without Representation Act of 2016 (H.R. 5893) in the US House of Representatives (House). The bill would codify the physical presence...more

"Supreme Court Vacates Corruption Conviction of Former Virginia Governor"

On June 27, 2016, the United States Supreme Court unanimously vacated the conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell on corruption charges and remanded the case for retrial. As discussed below, the impact of the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Reins In Government's Expansive Interpretation of Bribery Charges

Last week, in McDonnell v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the bribery convictions of Bob McDonnell, the former governor of Virginia. In doing so, the unanimous Court rejected prosecutors’ expansive...more

Even Though the Supremes Vacated Former Governor McDonnell’s Bribery Conviction, Don’t Even Think of Ditching Your Ethics...

The Supreme Court of the United States voted unanimously on June 27, 2016, to vacate former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell’s conviction under the federal honest services and extortion statutes. In doing so, the eight...more

If You Build It, They Will Get Just Compensation

One thousand nine hundred fifty-four (1,954) miles: the length of the United States’ border with Mexico, and the possible future site for President Donald Trump’s infamous Great Wall. The Wall has been a calling card of the...more

Liechtenstein and Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution

I spent the Fourth of July holiday in the Fürstentum Liechtenstein, a very beautiful and surprisingly inaccessible part of Europe. Its capital city has no airport. The country is also largely vertical, as it is sandwiched...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Governor Paul LePage Signs Executive Order to Pay for Bills Passed in Second Regular Session of...more

The Death Of Alexander Hamilton And The Birth Of The American Free Press

Alexander Hamilton has more to do with American independence than you might think. His efforts as a Founding Father (the hottest Founding Father on Broadway, it should be noted) helped the United States achieve political...more

The McDonnell Case: Limitations on public corruption prosecutions and a victory for the social compact of representative...

On Monday June 27, 2016, the US Supreme Court published a unanimous opinion reinforcing what is quickly becoming a contemporary trend in both public corruption and campaign finance regulation cases across the country. By...more

Senate Rejects Amendment That Would Expand The FBI’s Data Collection Powers

On Wednesday, June 22, the U.S. Senate voted down a proposal that would have expanded the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (“FBI”) ability to obtain internet records from technology companies. The measure, a proposed...more

The Supreme Court - June 2016 #7

The Supreme Court of the United States issued decisions in three cases today: McDonnell v. United States, No. 15-474: Former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, were federally indicted...more

NC Legislative Update - June 2016 #3

This Week - Both chambers accelerated pace in an eventful week as several Committees met more than once throughout the week with some even meeting after the day’s floor session. Senior House Appropriations Chairman Rep....more

Senators’ Gun Control Proposals Illustrate Key Tension in Federal Firearms Policy

On June 20, the Senate voted on four proposals to amend federal gun control laws. These proposals, being considered just 9 days after Omar Mateen attacked the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, actually were not expected to be...more

IRS "Free Speech" Act Seeks to Make Charitable Contributions Confidential

On April 26, 2016, a bill intended to modify the reporting requirements for tax-exempt organizations was introduced in the House. The bill, called the “Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act” (H.R. 5053) seeks to...more

Five Lawsuits Filed Against DOL’s Fiduciary Rule (so far)

As we previously discussed in our May 19, 2016 SW Benefits Update, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently issued final regulations on fiduciary conflicts of interest in retirement programs. Since 2010 when the DOL first...more

NC Legislative Update - June 2016 #2

This Week - The North Carolina political community was saddened to learn Wednesday, that former Rep. Ruth Samuelson (R-Mecklenburg), who chose not to seek reelection in 2014, has been diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian...more

The Supreme Court - June 2016

The Supreme Court of the United States issued decisions in two cases on June 6, 2016: Simmons v. Himmelreich, No. 15-109: Respondent Walter Himmelreich, an inmate at a federal prison, brought two suits against prison...more

An overview of Bill S-201: An Act to prohibit and prevent genetic discrimination

On May 3, 2016, Bill S-201, An Act to prohibit and prevent genetic discrimination, was given its first reading in the House of Commons. Originally introduced and recently passed in the Senate as a private Member’s bill, the...more

TCPA Under Scrutiny in Court and by Senate

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and a 2015 omnibus Declaratory Ruling and Order (2015 Order) interpreting the TCPA issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have recently faced additional challenges...more

Federal Court Strikes Down ACA Cost Sharing Reduction Payments

In Depth - A federal district court judge in Washington, DC ruled on May 12, 2016, that Congress did not appropriate funds for the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies. See United States...more

Supreme Court Decides Wittman v. Personhuballah

On May 23, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Wittman v. Personhuballah, No. 14-1504, holding that Members of Congress from Virginia did not have standing to challenge a district court’s order finding a redistricting plan...more

First of Two Constitutional Conventions on Millionaire Surtax Was a Doozy

It was one of the more fascinating events to occur at the State House in a long time, this joint session on Wednesday afternoon, May 18, of the House of Representatives and Senate, or constitutional convention as it’s called...more

U.S. States Expand Efforts to Collect Taxes from Out-of-State Businesses

Twenty-four years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court announced in Quill v. North Dakota, 504 U.S. 298 (1992), that in order for a U.S. state to require an out-of-state business to collect and remit sales and use taxes on its sales...more

SC Public Policy Update - May 2016 #2

What's New - SENATE - It was a short but busy week in the Senate as members worked through numerous bills remaining on the Senate calendar. The Senate gave third reading on Thursday to H. 5009, relating to the...more

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