Supreme Court Accepts Two Car Search Cases

At the Supreme Court’s “long conference,” where it decides which petitions—that have been piling up all summer—to accept, the Court agreed to hear two unrelated cases involving car searches.

Per the Fourth Amendment police officers generally need a warrant to search a car. However,  the automobile exception allows officers to search a car that is “readily mobile” without a warrant if officers have probable cause to believe they will find contraband or a crime has been committed.

 Collins v. Virginia raises the question of whether the automobile exception applies to a car that is parked on private property. Continue reading


Seventh Circuit: Title II of Americans with Disabilities Act Does Not Reach Employment Discrimination

Does Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act apply to employment-related discrimination claims, even though Title I of the Act specifically addresses such claims?

Answering this “question of first impression” in the circuit, in Brumfield v. City of Chicago, No. 11-2265 (Nov. 6, 2013), the Seventh Circuit today joined the Ninth and Tenth Circuits in concluding that Title II does not extend to employment-discrimination claims. Such claims must be brought under Title I.

The court determined that because, read in context, Title II unambiguously does not reach employment-discrimination claims, the court need not defer to the Attorney General’s rule to the contrary.  The court acknowledged that the Eleventh Circuit has reached the opposite conclusion, but the court found that circuit’s analysis unpersuasive.



Regulating Illegal Immigration With Local Housing Ordinances

Local government regulation of immigration through housing ordinances has divided the courts.

Local government regulation of immigration through housing ordinances has divided the courts.

Can a local government prohibit the leasing of housing to persons who entered the United States illegally?

Since June, three federal courts of appeals have tackled that difficult question—and reached different results.

The decisions present a range of perspectives on whether local housing ordinances “conflict” with federal law or intrude upon a “field” reserved to the federal government. They highlight the uncertain contours of the preemption doctrine—and demonstrate the risk facing any local government that regulates in this space.

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