WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Association of Counties (NACo), the National League of Cities (NLC), the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA) and Government Finance Officers (GFOA) are pleased to announce the formation of a new coalition known as the Local Government Legal Center (LGLC). NACo, NLC, and IMLA are founding members of the LGLC and GFOA is an associate member of the LGLC. The LGLC will provide a strong and unified local government voice before the U.S. Supreme Court and lower...

  Golden Glow Tanning Salon, Inc. v. City of Columbus, no. 21-60898 (5th Cir. Nov. 8, 2022). A tanning salon unsuccessfully challenges a COVID shutdown mandate on Equal Protection and Takings grounds—but the concurrence argues that work is a fundamental unenumerated right and implies that the Supreme Court should apply strict scrutiny to governmental acts which deprive one of the right to earn a livelihood.       Background In March 2020, after the Governor of Mississippi declared a state of emergency in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Columbus,...

IMLA confirms Lori Grigg Bluhm as IMLA President from October 23, 2022 - October 1, 2023. IMLA’s members recently confirmed the nomination of Lori Grigg Bluhm of Troy, Michigan to be President of IMLA. Lori has provided legal advice to the City of Troy Michigan since 1995, and has served as the City Attorney since 2001. She is a current Council Member of the Government Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan (and a Past Chair), a former President and...

On October 21st and 22nd during our 87th Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon, IMLA was able to announce and recognize our 2022 award winners. These award winners are IMLA members who have gone above and beyond the field of municipal law and were nominated by their colleagues to receive these awards.   The Charles S. Rhyne Lifetime Achievement In Municipal Law Award The Lifetime Achievement in Municipal Law Award is the highest award given by IMLA. The award honors the recipient’s lifetime achievements...

Somos únicos. Somos unidos. Somos Latinos.  From September 15- October 15, the United States recognizes and celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month.  This month-long recognition is meant to celebrate the contributions and achievements of members in Hispanic and Latin(o/e) communities.  IMLA and its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Group are committed to providing our members resources that highlight DEI issues affecting Hispanic and Latin(o/e) attorneys and the communities they represent. Attorneys with Spanish-speaking roots have slowly made their mark on U.S. legal history...

Last week, in a win for local governments, the Supreme Court held 6-3 in Vega v. Tekoh, that an individual may not bring a Section 1983 claim based on an alleged improper admission of an unMirandized statement during a criminal prosecution. This case involves a deputy sheriff's investigation of sexual assault allegations.  Deputy Vega believed his questioning was non-custodial and he did not Mirandize the suspect—Terence Tekoh—prior to asking questions about what had happened.  Tekoh ultimately agreed to write down what...

Yesterday, the Supreme Court held in a 6-3 decision in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District that a school district violated the First Amendment’s Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses when it terminated the employment of a high school football coach for refusing to curtail his practice of praying at the 50-yard line after football games with students.  Significantly, the majority also overruled Lemon v. Kurtzman and the Establishment Clause’s “endorsement test,” though it does so without explicitly saying so (calling...

In 2020, George Floyd’s murder reminded the United States to look at the mistreatments the country commits to African Americans since their ancestors were forced into slavery.  The result of that reckoning was a formal recognition of a holiday that had been celebrated by African American communities across the nation for over 150 years.  That day was June 19th which is recognized as the final emancipation of African Americans’ enslaved ancestors.  On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger led...

Yesterday, in a unanimous decision in Shurtleff v. Boston, the Supreme Court held that Boston violated the First Amendment by refusing to fly a Christian flag in front of City Hall when it had approved hundreds of other third-party flags over the years prior to this one and never rejected one until now.  This case centered on whether Boston was engaging in government speech or whether it had (inadvertently) created a public forum for private speech, whereby refusing to fly...

Today, in a great win for local governments, the Supreme Court held in Austin v. Reagan Nat. Advertising of Austin that distinctions between on/off-premises signs are content neutral under Reed v. Town of Gilbert and therefore not subject to strict scrutiny.  Even better, the majority rejected the “need to read test”, which had been adopted by both the Fifth and Sixth Circuit, and the decision also seems to have narrowed Reed’s scope, all in one fell swoop. At issue in this...