Articles Posted in Constitutional Law

In May, the City of Philadelphia announced that it was suspending foster care placements at Catholic Social Services (CSS) and Bethany Christian Services after reports showed that the agencies refused to place children with same-sex couples. Doing so was in violation of the city’s Fair Practices Ordinance. While Bethany agreed to comply with the law, CSS sued to city and argued that it should be allowed to discriminate against same-sex couples in accordance with their religious beliefs.


The law in Tennessee stated that failure to pay court fines and other fees associated with an arrest or imprisonment that lasted more than a year is grounds for taking away a person's driver’s license. The consequences of the law for such individuals means that they will have a more difficult time to earn income, as many employment opportunities require a valid driver’s license. Additionally, driving to and from work without a valid driver’s license runs the risk of getting fined or arrested if caught.


In a 4-3 opinion, the California Supreme Court ruled yesterday that Yelp.com cannot be ordered to remove negative posts against a San Francisco law firm that another judge determined were defamatory. The decision overturns a lower court’s ruling against Yelp, and affirms rules that protect internet platforms from legal liability over users’ posts.


A group of 18 attorneys general has filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration regarding the separation of families at the border. The Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy has been under strict scrutiny by Democrats as it has resulted in the separation of children and parents. The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington and argues that the separation of children and parents is discriminatory and violates equal protection under the Constitution. The complaint also states that the act of separating families is the Trump Administration's means of deterring immigrants from entering the United States.


On Tuesday, June 26, 2018, United States District Judge Dana M. Sabraw of the Southern District of California granted the American Civil Liberties Union's request for a preliminary injunction seeking to reunite children affected by the Trump Administration's "zero-tolerance" immigration policy.


The zero tolerance immigration policy that has led to separating refugee parents from children at the U.S.-Mexico border faces its first legal challenge from a Guatemalan asylee.


A group of large law firms and non-profits have created a nationwide coalition aimed at reuniting immigrant families separated under the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy. The coalition's effort has been named Project Corazon, and it will establish a system for parents to confidentially seek legal support in learning the whereabouts of their children. It is estimated that over 2,300 children have been taken from their parents since the administration's policy was implemented this spring.


In one of the most highly anticipated decisions of the term, the US Supreme Court held today that states may require sellers who have no physical presence within the state to collect and remit sales taxes on goods sold to buyers in the state. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the opinion for the majority, and Justices Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch joined. The decision overrules two prior cases in which the Court established and upheld the so-called "physical-presence rule" for sales tax, citing drastic changes in the reality of shopping and commerce.


Last month, a three-judge Third Circuit panel announced just minutes after oral arguments that it would affirm a district court’s ruling in favor a school district policy that allowed transgender students to use bathroom and locker room facilities corresponding with their gender identity. This unusually quick decision was partly practical, as the judges explained that they wanted to rule before the students’ graduation date.


On Thursday the Supreme Court issued a decision striking down a Minnesota law that prohibited political apparel in polling places. In a 7-2 decision, authored by Chief Justice Roberts, the court held that Minnesota’s political apparel ban violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.  Justice Sotomayor joined by Justice Breyer, filed a dissenting opinion.