Today, in a short per curiam (unauthored) opinion the Supreme Court decided Gonzalez v. Trevino, offering guidance as to how a plaintiff may prove a retaliatory arrest claim even where probable cause existed for the arrest.  The decision follows the Court’s 2019 decision in Nieves v. Bartlett where the Court held that although a plaintiff must generally plead and prove the absence or probable cause to bring a First Amendment retaliation claim, that rule was subject to a “narrow qualification”...

Member Spotlight: Susan Dubin, Deputy County Attorney for Transactions of Baltimore County We would like to take a moment to shout out one of IMLA’s wonderful members, Susan Dubin. Susan was nominated by many of her colleagues for IMLA’s Women’s History Month Spotlight. Although it is no longer March, we would like to share this interview with Susan so that you can learn more about her career journey and the women in her life who inspire her.   Tell us a bit about your...

Yesterday, in National Rifle Association v. Vullo, the Supreme Court unanimously held that while the government is free to “‘say what it wishes’” and “select the views that it wants to express,” it may not “wield its power… in order to punish or suppress” speech.  In this case, the Court found the NRA (at the motion to dismiss stage) had plausibly alleged that a former superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS), Vullo, had violated the First...

A Day in the Life Interview with Victoria J. Takayesu Hamilton, Corporation Counsel of Maui County, Hawaii. IMLA: Aloha, Tori! Why don’t you tell us about your life leading up to your position as Corporation Counsel? I was born in Queens, NYC, and moved to Manhattan when I was 10 years old. I read Clarence Darrow for the Defense in my teens, and that’s when I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. Reading was my escape from my chaotic family life....

Today, in a 6-3 opinion in Muldrow v. City of St. Louis, the Supreme Court created a new standard under Title VII for employee transfers, rejecting any heightened harm requirement – such as materiality or significant disadvantage - that lower courts have applied.  However, the Court did not go so far as to adopt the Petitioner’s proposed rule in the case which would have found any transfer, regardless of harm would be actionable under Title VII if based on a...

Today, in a unanimous opinion, the Supreme Court issued a narrow holding in Sheetz v. El Dorado County, a Takings case involving impact fees.  The Court held that legislatively enacted impact fees are not exempt from Nollan and Dolan but remanded to the lower court on all other arguments. This case involves the County of El Dorado’s traffic impact mitigation fee, which it adopted via General Plan, to require new development to help finance the construction of new roads and widen...

IMLA’s amicus program is very busy and has had a successful year – filed over 30 briefs in the last year. Most of the cases below are pending cases but we’ve had notable wins as well.  As a reminder, the Supreme Court accepts cert in only about 1% of cases, so denial of cert can be due to many reasons and in each of our cases we were exceptionally well represented. We can only enjoy this success and help our members out...

Today, in Lindke v. Freed, the Supreme Court set forth the test for when local government officials are considered “state actors” for the purposes of the First Amendment when they post on social media.  The case is a win for local governments as the test provided by the Supreme Court safeguards the free speech rights of elected officials while balancing the rights of their citizens.  More importantly, it is objective and focuses on authority as the test to determine if...

Inaugurated in 2023, the Charles Thompson Local Government Law Scholarships are competitive awards intended to recognize rising 2Ls and 3Ls with demonstrated interest and accomplishment in the study of municipal law. All candidates submit written expressions of interest, law school transcripts, and letters of recommendation. In addition, those seeking the larger $5,000 scholarship were required to submit an original work relating to local government law. We were fortunate to receive a significant number of outstanding applications from law students in the...

IMLA celebrates Black History Month! For every month of the year, IMLA continues to advocate and support racial equity programs and inclusive legislation that protect and support BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities across the United States and Canada.  Through our Diversity Group, IMLA has provided Zoom meetings and resources to better support our members to advance diversity initiatives and inclusive policies on a local level that remain under attack, especially through state preemption. This February is a month of celebration and recognition...