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Supreme Court Invalidates Public-Sector Union Agency Fees: Considerations for Congress in the Wake of Janus

Description: This report discusses the Supreme Court case Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31 (AFSCME). In a 5-4 decision, the Court held that "agency fee" arrangements between a union and a government employer necessarily violate the First Amendment, overruling its 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education.
Date: July 20, 2018
Creator: Killion, Victoria L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Military Commission Judges Do Not Have Unilateral Power to Punish for Contempt

Description: This report discusses the case of Baker v. Spath, in which Brigadier General (Gen.) John G. Baker, Chief Defense Counsel of the Military Commission System, prevailed in his habeas case against a military commission judge who sentenced him to 21 days' confinement and fined him $1,000 for contempt.
Date: July 18, 2018
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Media Consolidation: United States v. AT&T and Implications for Future Transactions

Description: This report discusses the proposed merger of AT&T, Inc. (AT&T) with Time Warner Inc. (Time Warner), after one of the most closely watched antitrust trials in recent memory. This report first outlines current Section 7 doctrine and then discusses the particularities of the government's case against AT&T and Time Warner and the court's decision to allow the transaction to proceed. Finally, it analyzes the decision's implications for the media industry and future antitrust cases, and identify potential considerations for Congress.
Date: July 16, 2018
Creator: Ruane, Kathleen Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Supreme Court Nomination: CRS Products

Description: This report lists key Congressional Research Service (CRS) products on the judicial decisions of Justice Kennedy and Judge Kavanaugh, as well as information on Supreme Court vacancies and nominations.
Date: July 12, 2018
Creator: Nolan, Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Who Interprets Foreign Law in U.S. Federal Courts?

Description: This report discusses the interpretation of foreign law, from routine breach of contract and tort claims to complex cases implicating the judicial branch's role in international affairs. In Animal Science Products, Inc. v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., the Supreme Court announced the standard of deference for U.S. federal courts to apply when considering a foreign government's interpretation of its own law.
Date: July 9, 2018
Creator: Mulligan, Stephen P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Partisan Gerrymandering: Supreme Court Provides Guidance on Standing and Maintains Legal Status Quo

Description: This report discusses the Supreme Court's ruling in the case of Gill v. Whitford. On June 18, 2018 the Supreme Court ruled that in order to establish standing to sue upon a claim of unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering on the basis of vote dilution, challengers must allege injuries to their interests as voters in individual districts. Topics discussed include Supreme Court precedent, case background, and implications for the future.
Date: July 2, 2018
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

When Can You Be Convicted of a Crime That Is Not a Crime?

Description: This report discusses the case United States v. Melgar-Cabrera. A panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (Tenth Circuit) recently upheld the murder conviction of the defendant who the court conceded had been "convicted of a crime that is not a crime."
Date: June 29, 2018
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Justice Kennedy Retires: Initial Considerations for Congress

Description: This report discusses the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy from the Supreme Court. In so doing, this post provides a broad overview of key legal issues Congress (and, more specifically the Senate, through its advice and consent role) may wish to consider as it reflects on Justice Kennedy's jurisprudence and how his eventual successor might shape the future of the Court, Congress, and the nation as a whole.
Date: June 28, 2018
Creator: Nolan, Andrew & Garcia, Michael John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

UPDATE: Public Sector Union Dues: Grappling with Fixed Stars and Stare Decisis (Part I)

Description: This report discusses the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of "Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council." In a 5-4 decision, the Court held that public-sector agency fee arrangements violate the First Amendment, overruling its 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education.
Date: June 27, 2018
Creator: Killion, Victoria L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Supreme Court Drives Home Its Concern for Privacy in Collins v. Virginia

Description: This report discusses the Collins decision and its potential implications for Fourth Amendment law. Facing a clash between two well-established Fourth Amendment doctrines--the primacy of the home in Fourth Amendment case law versus the "automobile exception" to the Amendment's warrant requirement--the Supreme Court in Collins v. Virginia ultimately came down on the side of protecting privacy within the home and its adjoining property.
Date: June 26, 2018
Creator: Hanna, Jillian C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

UPDATE: Supreme Court Takes Fourth Amendment Case about Cell Phone Location Data

Description: This report provides an update to a June 2017 report on the Carpenter v. United States case on government collection of cell phone location information. On June 22, 2018, the Supreme Court held in a 5-to-4 decision in Carpenter v. United States that government acquisition of historical cell site location information (CSLI) constitutes a Fourth Amendment search. The Court further held that the government needs a warrant supported by probable cause.
Date: June 26, 2018
Creator: Harrington, Ben
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An Overview of U.S. Immigration Laws Regulating the Admission and Exclusion of Aliens at the Border

Description: This report discusses U.S. immigration law as it relates to the Trump Administration's zero tolerance policy to criminally prosecute migrants who unlawfully enter the United States at the southern border; a policy which has led to the separation of children from parents awaiting prosecution for unlawful entry.
Date: June 25, 2018
Creator: Smith, Hillel R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Military Enjoined from Transferring American ISIS Suspect to Foreign Country--at Least for Now

Description: This report discusses the case of Doe v. Mattis, a case with potential ramifications regarding the authority to conduct military operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (D.C. Circuit) upheld 2-1 the district court's injunctions temporarily protecting "John Doe" from forcible transfer to another country from Iraq, where he is currently being held by the U.S. military as a suspected ISIS combatant.
Date: June 20, 2018
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

UPDATE: Termination of Temporary Protected Status for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador: Key Takeaways and Analysis

Description: This report is an update to a February 2, 2018 report discussing Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations and answering questions regarding the recent termination of TPS for El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Sudan. The update discusses the termination of TPS for Nepal and Honduras.
Date: June 8, 2018
Creator: Smith, Hillel R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Rise and Decline of the Alien Tort Statute

Description: This report explains the original purpose of the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), restrictions placed on the ATS by the Supreme Court, the effect of the recent case Jesner v. Arab Bank, PLC, and the response from Congress.
Date: June 6, 2018
Creator: Mulligan, Stephen P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Law Enforcement Access to Overseas Data Under the CLOUD Act

Description: This report discusses the CLOUD Act recently passed by Congress which gives the U.S. government's the ability to force companies to disclose information stored on overseas servers that is covered under a warrant and updates the reciprocal agreements with other countries accessing data as a part of criminal investigations that is held in the United States. Legal commentary on the law is provided.
Date: May 2, 2018
Creator: Mulligan, Stephen P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Travel Ban Case and Nationwide Injunctions

Description: This report addresses when, if ever, a regional federal trial judge adjudicating a case involving the federal government can award nationwide injunctive relief--a court order that commands a party to take or refrain from taking some action throughout the country. In the context of a suit against the federal government, an injunction with this type of "universal" effect acts to effectively void the law or policy in question. This report briefly explores the nationwide injunction at issue in the travel ban case (Trump v. Hawaii) and surveys a handful of the scholarly and judicial arguments surrounding the nationwide injunction in general
Date: May 2, 2018
Creator: Freeman, Wilson C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Third Circuit Invalidates "De Facto" Life Sentences for "Non-Incorrigible" Juvenile Offenders

Description: This report discusses a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in the case of "United States v. Grant" that prohibits the use of "de facto" life sentences without possibility of parole (created by sentencing juveniles to prison terms longer than the average lifespan or that would end after they reached the typical retirement age) for juvenile offenders who have a reasonable potential for rehabilitation. The report also discusses previous decisions related to this issue and the split among appeals court over the proper application of the Eighth Amendment to juvenile sentencing restrictions.
Date: April 30, 2018
Creator: Smith, Alison M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department