Constitutional Law Elections & Politics

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California Bill Requiring Mobile, Cloud Search Warrants Advances

On July 14, 2015, the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“Cal-ECPA”) unanimously passed the California State Assembly’s public safety committee. The bill would forbid warrantless cellular “stingrays” as well...more

Senate Judiciary Committee holds hearing on Dodd-Frank constitutional issues

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing yesterday entitled “The Administrative State v. The Constitution: Dodd-Frank at Five Years.” The hearing was focused on constitutional issues relating to the Dodd-Frank Act,...more

[Event] 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act Panel Discussion - July 28, 4:00-7:00pm, Chicago, IL

Paulette Brown, who will be moderating the discussion, is currently President-elect of the American Bar Association. In August 2015, she will become the first woman of color and the third African American to serve as ABA...more

Gov. Christie’s Cuts in N.J.’s Mandatory Public Pension Funding Found to be Legal

A recent study estimated that state public pension plans are underfunded by $4.7 trillion (yes, that’s a “T”). Ten states have plans in which less than 30-percent of benefit obligations are funded, and only three states have...more

NLRB v. The Constitution: Constitution Wins

In early 1999, the Venetian Casino Resort in Las Vegas asked police officers to remove union protesters from a temporary walkway in front of the Venetian — a walkway the Venetian built on its property in exchange for the...more

DC Circuit Upholds Federal Ban on Campaign Contributions - What's Next for Politically Active Government Contractors?

A unanimous federal appeals court in Washington, DC has upheld a long-standing ban on federal campaign contributions by government contractors. ...more

"DC Circuit Unanimously Upholds Federal Contractor Contribution Ban"

On July 7, 2015, the federal circuit court for the District of Columbia sitting en banc issued a unanimous opinion upholding the federal contractor contribution ban against a constitutional challenge in the long-running case...more

Rand Paul And The Expiration Of The Patriot Act

During the last weekend in May, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul did something that is not easy to do – he managed to anger most Republicans and Democrats, the Senate Majority Leader (who is also the senior senator from Kentucky),...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds 44-Year-Old Ban: The answer is still “no” for individual federal contractors wishing to contribute to federal...

On July 7, 2015, in Wagner v. Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the ban on individual federal contractor contributions to federal candidates and political...more

June 19, 2015 Womble Legislative Update

A contentious week on Jones Street ends on a sad note. As the General Assembly takes up (or doesn’t) issues relating to abortion, economic incentives, access to guns, access to healthcare, tax fairness, Medicaid reform and...more

June 5, 2015 Womble Legislative Update

It’s June – the month the legislature logically should be wrapping up along with the state’s fiscal year but we’re nowhere close. There are still big fights ahead on budget, taxes, economic development tools, solar produced...more

Supreme Court Update: Michigan V. EPA (14-47) And Arizona State Legislature V. Arizona Independent Redistricting Comm'n (13-1314)

The last day of school is always anticlimactic, with finals done and yearbooks already signed. That may have described the atmosphere on First Street yesterday, but make no mistake: The Court ended October Term 2014 term with...more

Supreme Court Decides Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission

On June 29, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistrict Commission, No. 13-1314, holding that a State legislature has standing to challenge a State constitutional amendment...more

N.J. Supreme Court Finds Chapter 78 Did Not Create an Enforceable Contract Right

In Burgos v. State of New Jersey, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that the 2011 pension and health benefit reform statute, known as Chapter 78, did not create an enforceable contract that was binding on the State to make...more

Irrigation District Sues, Says State Board Lacks Jurisdiction to Curtail Senior Water Rights

On June 26, the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) filed a petition for writ of mandate in Contra Costa County Superior Court requesting that the Court set aside the State Water Resources Control Board’s June 12, 2015...more

Supreme Court Upholds Authority of Redistricting Commissions

This morning in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a constitutional challenge to the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (“IRC”). The U.S....more

Baker's Openness to Changing State Flag Could Lead to Something Much Better

Governor Charlie Baker gave a jolt of energy recently to an idea that’s been languishing at the State House for years and that came to the fore this week because of the racially motivated slaughter of nine African-Americans...more

In Suing Commonwealth of PA, Clean Air Council Takes A Stand For Up-To-Date Building Codes

There is a war on building codes across the United States, and Pennsylvania is ground zero. After years of regular building code updates, a law was passed in 2011 (Act 1) at the urging of the Pennsylvania Builders...more

Another Bill to Expand the Wire Act: Bad Law Clothed in a Lie

This past week’s focus on the presence of the Confederate battle flag on the grounds of the South Carolina capitol (and elsewhere) brought back to the fore the specter of “states’ rights” – the seemingly high-minded excuse...more

Catching-Up On House Judiciary Committee’s Revised Innovation Act

Recently the House Judiciary Committee voted 24-8 to approve a revised version of the Innovation Act. As we previously discussed, the Innovation Act was re-introduced in the House earlier this year in the same form approved...more

Bitcoin and Bullets: An Unexpected Alliance

At first blush, one might not expect the digital currency and firearm industries to have much in common – when was the last time you heard someone utter Bitcoin and guns in the same breath? Recently, however, the two...more

Governor Brown Nominates Two for Fish and Game Commission

Governor Brown has announced the nomination of Eric Sklar and Anthony Williams to serve on the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission). The five-member Commission is established under article IV, section 20 of the...more

Proposition 218 Guide for Special Districts

In this Guide: - Taxes (Article XIII C) - Assessments, Fees and Charges (Article XIII D) - Assessments (Article XIII D, Sections 4 And 5) - Property-Related Fees and Charges (Article XIII D,...more

Supreme Court Update: Zivotovsky V. Kerry (13-628), Mellouli V. Lynch (13-628) And Order List

The Court issued only one decision this week, but it was a biggie: Zivotovsky v. Kerry (13-628), aka the "Jerusalem passport case," which will surely find its way into the separation-of-powers chapter of Con Law casebooks in...more

Supreme Court Decides Zivotofsky v. Kerry

On June 8, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Zivotofsky v. Kerry, No. 13-628, holding that the President of the United States has the exclusive power to grant formal recognition to a foreign sovereign. ...more

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