Elections & Politics Constitutional Law

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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

District Court Rules One Aspect of ACA is Unconstitutional—No Change for Employers

You may have heard that a federal District Court ruled that the ACA was unconstitutional today. Do not start making any changes. This decision will not directly impact most employers and their health plans. We are sending...more

Misread Signs: U.S. Supreme Court Finds Employer’s Mistaken Belief about Employee Supports Retaliation Claim

Is it still retaliation if your boss fired you for something you didn’t actually do? In Heffernan v. City of Paterson, New Jersey, the U.S. Supreme Court said yes—your boss’s mistake does not get him off the hook for the...more

Quid Pro Quo and FCPA Enforcement

Yesterday on the podcast, the FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report, I posted the full oral argument from the Supreme Court in the case of McDonnell v. US (shout out to Web Hull for sending it to me), which is the appeal of the...more

Supreme Duplicity: The Fight to Fill Justice Scalia’s Seat

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has long been praised by Republicans as the model of judicial restraint, a proponent of strict adherence to the literal wording of the United States Constitution. Republican Speaker of...more

Demotion Based on Mistaken Belief Deprives Public Employee of Constitutional Rights

U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Case Involving Political Campaigning Accusations - A government agency violated the constitutional rights of an employee who was demoted based on the mistaken belief that he violated the...more

A Day of Reckoning for the CFPB?

Virtually ever since its inception on July 21, 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has inspired wariness and skepticism in the financial institutions and financial services providers, subject to this new...more

But I Didn’t Mean To! U.S. Supreme Court Says Employer Intentions Govern in First Amendment Retaliation Case

For government employers, disciplining and terminating employees can be especially difficult. Not only does the public employer face the same challenges in complying with the standard alphabet soup of employment laws that...more

Ninth Circuit Upholds Ruling in Favor of CFPB against Lawyer in Mortgage Relief Scam, Rejects Constitutional Challenge to Director...

The Ninth Circuit recently considered arguments relating to an enforcement action brought by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) against a California attorney who was offering loan modification services. The CFPB...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects Director Cordray's Recess Appointment as Defense to CFPB Enforcement Action; Dissenting Judge Disagrees

Since it was filed in a California federal court in July 2012, we have been following Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) v. Chance Edward Gordon, a case in which the CFPB alleged that an attorney duped consumers by...more

Public Employer May Not Retaliate Against Employee Based on Perception that He Engaged in Political Activity

On Tuesday the U.S. Supreme Court held that a public employee could sue his employer for retaliation where the employer demoted him for engaging in constitutionally-protected political activity, even though the employer was...more

Supreme Court: Government Employer’s Incorrect Belief About Employee’s Activity Matters in First Amendment Analysis

A government employer can violate an employee’s constitutional rights by acting based on incorrect information that, if true, would violate the U.S. Constitution, even though the employee was not actually exercising his or...more

Supreme Court Update: Bank Markazi V. Peterson (14-770) And Heffernan V. City Of Paterson (14-1280)

After the deluge of cases last week, the Court took a breather and issued only one decision this week. However, eagle-eyed Update aficionados may remember that we still owe you one decision from last week. With that in mind,...more

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