Court Partially Strikes Down Campaign-Finance Laws of Austin, Texas

In the spirit of the 2018 midterms, campaign-finance laws in Austin, Texas were recently challenged by Donald Zimmerman, a former City Council member.  Specifically, he challenged three restrictions of a law enacted via a ballot initiative in 1997.  These three restrictions were (1) a $350 cap on contributions per contributor per election, (2) a prohibition… Read More Court Partially Strikes Down Campaign-Finance Laws of Austin, Texas

Texas May Not Prohibit Elected Officials from Endorsing “Sanctuary City” Policies

El Cenizo, Texas—a town of about 3,000 people—borders the Rio Grande in south central Texas.  Last year, it along with several other Texas cities (including Dallas, Houston, and Austin) sued the state of Texas over a controversial state law related to so-called “sanctuary city” policies. But before we get into the cities’ lawsuit, you have… Read More Texas May Not Prohibit Elected Officials from Endorsing “Sanctuary City” Policies

Baltimore’s Regulations for Pregnancy Center Held Unconstitutional

Once again, abortion and the First Amendment collide. The Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns (“CPC”) is a nonprofit Christian organization that provides free pregnancy services including pregnancy tests, sonograms, and childcare education.   It also provides fee childcare products such as diapers, clothing, and books.  In keeping with its religious mission, it does not offer… Read More Baltimore’s Regulations for Pregnancy Center Held Unconstitutional

California’s Credit-Card Surcharge Law Held Unconstitutional

Credit-card companies charge retailers a small percentage of every transaction paid for with a credit card.  Understandably, retailers can before frustrated by these charges and want to pass on the charges to consumers who choose to pay with credit cards. California—concerned that some consumers might be deceived by retailers who don’t clearly notify consumers of… Read More California’s Credit-Card Surcharge Law Held Unconstitutional

San Francisco’s Notice Requirement for Landlords Upheld

Landlords sometimes try to “buy out” their tenants—give them money in exchange for vacating the unit.  (This is also sometimes called a “no-fault eviction” because the landlord is trying to remove the tenant through no fault of the tenant.  And we’re guessing that landlords try to buyout tenants when it’s in the landlord’s financial interest… Read More San Francisco’s Notice Requirement for Landlords Upheld

Kentucky City Allowed to Prohibit Unsolicited Newspaper Distributions

In 2017, Lexington, Kentucky passed an ordinance that penalizes the distribution of unsolicited literature (pamphlets, ads, etc.) to households outside of six specific delivery methods of delivery.  The Herald-Leader, a news-media company in Lexington, publishes and distributes its Community News by leaving it on people’s driveway—not one of the six permitted methods—but allows residents to opt-out of delivery… Read More Kentucky City Allowed to Prohibit Unsolicited Newspaper Distributions