Fourteenth Amendment

News & Analysis as of

June 2016: Trial Practice Update

Jury Selection—Batson v. Kentucky Is Alive and Well. Last month the United States Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Foster v. Chatman, 578 U.S. (2016), reaffirming its 30-year-old decision in Batson v....more

Supreme Court Decides Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt

On June 27, 2016, the Supreme Court decided Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, No. 15-274, holding that both the admitting privileges and the surgical-center requirements of a Texas law regulating abortions place a...more

District Potentially Liable for Hiring Teacher Alleged to Have Inappropriately Touched Students

Poe v. Southeast Delco Sch. Dist., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168598 (E.D. Pa. Dec. 16, 2015): Hiring a teacher with past allegations of sexual misconduct toward students made the district and an administrator potentially liable...more

North Carolina Cyberbullying statute struck down as unconstitutional

On February 9, 2012, Robert Bishop was arrested and charged with one count of cyberbullying under the North Carolina Cyberbullying statute, which states that it is “unlawful for any person to use a computer or computer...more

Supreme Court Upholds Consideration of Race in a College Admissions Program – What Does This Mean for Employer Diversity Efforts?

On June 23, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion for the second time in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, (Fisher II), a case that directly questioned whether race can be considered at all in college...more

High Court Finds UT Austin Race-Conscious Admissions Process Constitutional

In a 4-3 decision on Thursday, June 23, 2016, the United States Supreme Court upheld the University of Texas’s (UT) race-conscious admissions program. The decision addressed only UT’s specific admissions policy in effect...more

Fisher, the Sequel: Supreme Court Upholds Public University’s Affirmative Action Program

On June 23, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the race-conscious admission program that a public university used for undergraduate admissions was lawful under the Equal Protection Clause of the...more

United States Supreme Court Approves Race-Conscious Admissions Policy

On June 23, 2016, in its second trip to the United States Supreme Court, the High Court ruled in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, et al. No. 14-981 (June 23, 2016) that the University of Texas’ (“UT”) race-conscious...more

Supreme Court Decides Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

On June 20, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, No. 14-981, holding that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment permits the University of Texas’ use of race-conscious...more

Supreme Court Rules that Pennsylvania Justice's Previous Involvement in Case Represented an Impermissible Risk of Bias

In a recent opinion, Williams v. Pennsylvania, --- S.Ct. ----, 2016 WL 3189529 (June 9, 2016), a divided United States Supreme Court held that judges must recuse themselves in cases in which they previously played a...more

Supreme Court Says Prosecutors Can’t Judge the Cases They Prosecute

Not all of the justices would put it that way. To be fair to the dissenters, and because his version is shorter, we’ll use Justice Thomas’s description of the underlying facts from his dissent in Williams v. Pennsylvania,...more

Supreme Court Update: Williams V. Pennsylvania (15-5040), Dietz V. Bouldin (15-458), Simmons V. Himmelreich (15-109) And Ross V....

Greetings, Court Fans! Though the Puerto Rican Day Parade marched down Fifth Avenue Sunday, the Commonwealth was getting much less love on One First Street. Yesterday morning, in Puerto Rico v. Franklin California...more

California Teachers Seek Rehearing Before Full U.S. Supreme Court Regarding Constitutionality of “Agency Shop” Fees for Non-Union...

Attorneys for the Plaintiff California public sector teachers in the case of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association have taken the extraordinarily rare step of petitioning the Supreme Court for a rehearing, and have...more

Delaware Supreme Court: No General Jurisdiction Over Non-Delaware Businesses Simply by Virtue of Registering to Do Business in...

Merely registering to do business in Delaware does not subject a non-Delaware company to the general jurisdiction of Delaware courts. In Genuine Parts Company v. Cepec, Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Leo E....more

Redrawing of Arizona Legislative Districts Upheld by U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Justice Breyer, has unanimously upheld the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission's plan to redraw Arizona's legislative districts. Lawyers from Ballard Spahr's Political...more

Fourth Circuit Rules that Title IX Extends to Transgender Bathroom Access

On April 19, 2016, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion that is likely to have a significant impact on the rights of transgender students. In G.G. ex rel. Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board, No. 15-2056...more

Supreme Court Decides Harris v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission

On April 20, 2016, the Supreme Court decided Harris v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, No. 14-232, holding that a redistricting plan is not unconstitutional where the maximum population deviation between the...more

10th Circ.: Permit Issuance Is Not State Action For Purposes of 14th Amendment

On April 19, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, in Wasatch Equality, et al., v. Alta Ski Lifts Company, et al., affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit claiming that the U.S. Forest Service, in...more

House Bill 2: What It Does and Does Not Do (A Private Sector Business Perspective)

H.B. 2 does not preclude private sector businesses or employers from adopting policies that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity nor regulate their decisions with regard to employee or...more

Alabama Sex Offender Religious Land Use Case To Proceed

The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama has ruled that Ricky Martin may proceed with his religious land use and other claims against the Chilton County District Attorney Randall Houston. The Middle...more

Supreme Court Update: Evenwel V. Abbott (14-940), Nichols V. United States (15-5238) And Woods V. Etherton (15-723)

The Eight found a whole lot to agree on in their last batch of decisions, unanimously holding state voting districts drawn to equalize the total population in each district (and not the number of eligible voters) do not...more

When Are Punitive Damages Too Punitive?

The defendants aren’t in the health care business, but their April 1 victory in the Tenth Circuit has implications for defendants in all lines of business. That’s why the U.S. Chamber of Commerce weighed in with an amicus...more

Fifth Circuit Rejects Constitutional Challenge to Texas "No Credit Card Surcharge" Law

A Texas law that prohibits merchants from imposing a surcharge on credit card purchases, but allows a discount for cash purchases, does not violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, a divided panel of the U.S....more

California Court Of Appeal Bends Over Backwards To Uphold Substantial Punitive Award In Asbestos Case

The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires procedural fairness in state trials, but that principle seems absent from a recent California Court of Appeal decision upholding a judgment against Kaiser Gypsum...more

Federalism “On Fleek” or Fifty Separate Fiefdoms? State Chief Justice Says Obergefell Is Not the Law in Alabama

A recent, public clash between the highest legal authorities of the United States and one of its constituent states, Alabama, illustrates the promise and the problems of this country’s unique system of dual sovereigns, known...more

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