Scotus Tag

Tyler v. Hennepin County, no. 22-166 (US 2023) Background: This case involves a challenge to Minnesota’s statutory property foreclosure scheme. The Plaintiff stopped paying taxes on her Hennepin County condominium in 2010 and for three years thereafter failed to respond to delinquency notices. Subsequently, she did not take advantage of any of the multiple additional avenues that Minnesota law provides to redeem her property or to protect her equity interest. She even apparently went so far as to tell the County...

During the IMLA Seminar on Friday, 4/21 Amy Howe, a prominent Supreme Court reporter predicted that the Supreme Court could grant two important First Amendment social media cases as early as Monday, 4/24, which is exactly what happened.  The cases are Lindke v. Freed and O’Connor-Ratcliff v. Garnier, and they involve almost identical issues: Whether an elected official violates the First Amendment by blocking someone from their social media account where that account purports to be personal in nature (though...

Yesterday, the Supreme Court held that the Quiet Title Act’s 12-year statute of limitations period is a claims processing rule, rather than a jurisdictional bar to suit. Because local governments are involved in property disputes with the federal government and the Quiet Title Act is the exclusive mechanism for resolving such disputes, this ruling will benefit local governments. The Quiet Title Act, 28 U.S.C. §2409a provides a waiver of sovereign immunity for the United States, stating: “The United States may be...

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...

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...

In National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Department of Labor the U.S. Supreme Court disallowed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) emergency rule from going into effect temporarily, which requires those who work for employers with 100 or more employees to be vaccinated. Such employers instead could require unvaccinated employees to be tested weekly for COVID-19 and wear a mask. In Biden v. Missouri the Court allowed to go into effect temporarily while litigation in the lower courts continues, an...

On October 18th, the Supreme Court granted qualified immunity to officers in two cases on a per curiam basis, summarily reversing lower courts in each: Rivas-Villas v. Cortesluna and City of Tahlequah v. Austin.  IMLA filed an amicus brief in the Rivas - Villegas v. Cortesluna case in support of the officers.  In both cases, the Supreme Court relied on video evidence and therefore undisputed facts.  And in both cases, the Court concluded the law was not clearly established given...

In a per curiam decision, the Supreme Court summarily reversed the Eighth Circuit’s grant of qualified immunity in Lombardo v. City of St. Louis.  While the majority’s decision to reverse left a lot to still be decided, the case may be indicative of the Supreme Court’s attempt to signal to lower courts that qualified immunity is less protective than some courts are currently applying it.  Alternatively, perhaps Justice Alito is right in his dissent that the majority did not want...