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Library Legal News

Supreme Court Upholds Arizona Redistricting

Posted Apr 20, 2016

In Harris v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected  a challenge to an Arizona redistricting plan that had contended variations in legislative district populations were unconstitutional because they were intended to help the Democratic Party.  In a unanimous decision, Justice Breyer wrote, “appellants have not shown that it is more probable than not that illegitimate considerations were the predominant motivation behind the plan’s deviations from mathematically equal district populations—deviations that were under 10%.  Consequently, they have failed to show that the Commission’s plan violates the Equal Protection Clause as interpreted in Reynolds and subsequent cases”.  Read articles in the Washington Post and New York Times.

Split Verdict in California Tax Case

Posted Apr 20, 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court decision  in Franchise Board of California v. Hyatt left intact the idea that private citizens can sue other states in its own state courts, but limits awards to penalties a plaintiff could win against his own state officials. In this case, the Supreme Court trimmed a $1 million dollar verdict against a California agency by a Nevada court to $50,000 because in Nevada, a similar immunity provision caps damages against the state at $50,000.  Justice Breyer wrote, “insofar as the Nevada Supreme Court had declined to apply California law in favor of a special rule of Nevada law that is hostile to its sister States, we find its decision unconstitutional”.  Read articles in the Sacramento Bee and Los Angeles Times.

Justices Hear Oral Arguments in Immigration Policy Case

Posted Apr 20, 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in United States v. Texas with the justices seemingly divided over a 26-state challenge to the Obama Administration’s plans for deferring deportation of approximately four million undocumented immigrants whose children are U.S. citizens.  Read the transcript  of oral arguments.  Read articles in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times.  See the argument analysis at SCOTUSblog.