December 1, 2019 | Federalism
Recreational marijuana is legal in Michigan and will soon be legal in Illinois. Here’s what to know
Two Midwestern states are breaking into the recreational marijuana market, and dispensaries are expecting huge crowds.
Legal weed sales began Sunday in Michigan, where a handful of dispensaries in Ann Arbor planned to be open for business. The landmark moment in the state's cannabis industry comes amid a temporary ban on the sale of vaping devices in Michigan as health officials investigate the causes of vaping-related lung illnesses nationwide...
November 21, 2019 | Federalism
Warren, Sanders, Klobuchar and Booker Talk Abortion Rights at Debate
With states passing near-total bans on abortion and a conservative Supreme Court majority poised to potentially revisit Roe v. Wade, reproductive rights have become a major issue in the 2020 campaign. Some candidates and abortion-rights advocates, however, have noted the relative lack of questions on the issue in the Democratic presidential debates so far...
November 14, 2019 | Federalism
Ohio lawmakers proposed a total ban on abortion. Judges have blocked similar laws.
A new bill sponsored by two Republican Ohio lawmakers would completely end the practice of abortion in the state — a sweeping measure one local abortion rights advocate said “would strip every person who can get pregnant of their bodily autonomy.”
State Reps. Ron Hood and Candice Keller are the lead sponsors of House Bill 413, which, among other provisions, seeks to legally recognize unborn fetuses as people, according to a news release from the Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio dated Thursday and obtained by The Washington Post. Anyone who performs an abortion, according to the release, would be “subject to already existing murder statutes.”...
November 7, 2019 | Federalism
Animals will soon be gaining more rights as both federal and state legislation aim to increase protections
A federal animal cruelty bill has passed both the U.S. House and Senate.
The president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund says she's confident it will be signed into law.
The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, or PACT Act, makes prosecuting those accused of the most heinous crimes against animals easier...
October 29, 2019 | Federalism
Alabama Abortion Ban Is Temporarily Blocked by a Federal Judge
A federal judge on Tuesday blocked a near-total ban on abortions from taking effect next month in Alabama, ensuring the procedure remains legal and available in the state while the case winds its way through the courts.
In ruling against the Alabama law — the most far-reaching anti-abortion measure passed by state lawmakers this year — Judge Myron H. Thompson of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama wrote that it violates Supreme Court precedent and “defies” the Constitution...
October 22, 2019 | Federalism
These 5 States Are the Next Battlegrounds in the Abortion Wars
When Americans think about the future of abortion, they often think of the Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion nationwide in Roe v. Wade. But over the past decade, the real battle over abortion hasn’t been in Washington — it’s played out in statehouses across the country, where legislators have passed restriction after restriction on the procedure.
Now, abortion rights activists believe they have a unique chance to wrest back those state legislatures from abortion opponents. And though Election Day 2020 is still more than a year away, they’re already preparing...
October 7, 2019 | Federalism
Federal bill would allow marijuana businesses access to banking
OKLAHOMA CITY - Since medical marijuana started to be sold in Oklahoma, dispensary owners have been looking for a way to better protect their money, customers and employees. There is now federal legislation in the US Senate that could offer solutions to some of their problems.
"So, anyone who owns a dispensary has to deal with cash. It's very dangerous," said Kent Malave...
October 1, 2019 | Federalism
Federal judge blocks Georgia anti-abortion law
A federal judge handed an early win to abortion rights activists Tuesday by blocking Georgia’s restrictive law from going into effect — but it is only the first step as a lawsuit makes its way through the court system.
District Judge Steve C. Jones’ ruling stops House Bill 481 from taking effect Jan. 1 while the case plays out. Anti-abortion activists are hoping the case winds up in the U.S. Supreme Court...
September 24, 2019 | Federalism
Trump Administration Threatens to Cut U.S. Highway Funds From California
WASHINGTON — The political war between California and the Trump administration escalated Monday with a letter from Andrew Wheeler, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, warning that Washington would withhold federal highway funds from the state if it did not rapidly address a decades-long backlog of state-level pollution control plans.
The letter is the latest parry between President Trump and the liberal West Coast state that he appears to relish antagonizing. California’s recent actions on clean air and climate change policy have blindsided and enraged him, according to two people familiar with the matter...
September 18, 2019 | Federalism
Trump bars California from setting auto emissions rules, setting up court fight
President Donald Trump said Wednesday that his administration is barring California from setting its own auto emissions standards, setting up a fresh struggle over the president’s push to unravel restrictions on businesses.
In tweets announcing the move, the president said the White House “is revoking” a federal waiver that allowed the state to craft its own rules on greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. Trump argued he blocked California’s ability to do so “in order to produce far less expensive cars for the consumer, while at the same time making the cars substantially SAFER.”...
September 10, 2019 | Federalism
Southern U.S. states have closed 1,200 polling places in recent years: rights group
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - States across the American South have closed nearly 1,200 polling places since the Supreme Court weakened a landmark voting-discrimination law in 2013, according to a report released by a civil-rights group on Tuesday...
September 4, 2019 | Federalism
Colorado Joins 31 States In Case Against Student Loan Servicer, Navient
DENVER (CBS4) – Hundreds of thousands of Coloradans are trying to pay off their student loans and a high-profile, private loan servicer is under investigation. Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser joined 31 other state attorneys general in protecting states’ rights to protect consumers against these companies...
August 2, 2019 | Federalism
Marijuana is on the ballot in 3 Michigan communities on Tuesday
Voters in three Michigan communities — Highland Park, Crystal Lake and Vanderbilt — will get to decide the future of marijuana in their towns on Tuesday.
In Highland Park and Vanderbilt, a proposal allowing marijuana businesses will be on the primary election ballot. But in Crystal Lake, a prohibition on pot shops will be on the ballot...
July 22, 2019 | Federalism
Arkansas might be days away from becoming the seventh state with one abortion clinic
Depending on the outcome of a court decision this week, Arkansas could become the seventh state in the country to have only one abortion clinic. Women in the state could also lose access to any abortions after 10 weeks into their pregnancy...
July 10, 2019 | Federalism
Hawaii decriminalizes small amounts of marijuana for January 2020
Hawaii has become the 26th state to decriminalize possession of marijuana, a measure that will take effect Jan. 11, 2020. The new law will eliminate criminal penalties for possession of three grams or less of marijuana. Possession of those small amounts will only be punishable by fines of no more than $130...
June 29, 2019 | Federalism
Biden on debate moment: ‘I heard and I listened to and I respect Sen. Harris’
Former Vice President Joe Biden on Friday defended his civil rights record the day after California Sen. Kamala Harris assailed him over race and busing in a Democratic presidential debate."I heard and I listened to and I respect Sen. Harris," Biden said at a Rainbow PUSH Coalition event on the west side of Chicago. "But, you know, we all know that 30 seconds to 60 seconds in a campaign debate exchange can't do justice to a lifetime committed to civil rights."
June 22, 2019 | Federalism
These states are strengthening abortion laws even as others dismantle them
Washington (CNN) The red-state drive to ban or severely limit access to abortion this year has sparked the opposite reaction in Democratic-led states, where lawmakers are cementing abortion rights and making it more accessible.Driving the moves on both sides is the rightward shift of the US Supreme Court, which is fanning fears on the left that the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion legal in the US could be gutted or overturned altogether...
June 18, 2019 | Federalism
Supreme Court upholds ban on uranium mining; state, county officials ecstatic, call it a ‘big win for health and safety of Virginians’
In a 6-3 vote on Monday, the Supreme Court sided with the state of Virginia and upheld a more than three decades-old ban on uranium mining.The high court also ruled a lawsuit challenging the uranium ban was dismissed properly by a lower court.Virginia has had a ban on uranium mining since the early 1980s after a massive uranium deposit was discovered on Coles Hill in Pittsylvania County...
June 12, 2019 | Federalism
As Other States Restrict Abortion Rights, Illinois Protects and Expands
The three different contraception methods Sharon and her boyfriend used had failed. Students with career plans, neither wanted to have a child.In 1970, abortion was illegal in Illinois. Through an underground women’s group, she learned she could go to Mexico City to end her pregnancy.“The first thing that they wanted to do is count the money,” she said. “There was nobody that asked me any questions about my medical history, nothing.”
June 3, 2019 | Federalism
Justices take on major states’ rights dispute
Taking on a new case that could draw it back to the very origins of the Constitution, the Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide when Congress can take away the immunity of state governments to being sued in federal courts...
May 28, 2019 | Federalism
Kamala Harris rolls out proposal that would require states to prove abortion laws were constitutional
(CNN) Amid a national debate over abortion rights, Sen. Kamala Harris on Tuesday rolled out a new proposal aimed at stopping some state laws that restrict abortion by preventing them from going into effect in the first place...
May 14, 2019 | Federalism
Alabama Lawmakers Pass Bill Banning Nearly All Abortions
The Alabama Senate passed a bill Tuesday evening to ban nearly all abortions. The state House had already overwhelmingly approved the legislation. It's part of a broader anti-abortion strategy to prompt the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider the right to abortion.It would be one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the United States. The bill would make it a crime for doctors to perform abortions at any stage of a pregnancy, unless a woman's life is threatened or in case of a lethal fetal anomaly...
May 6, 2019 | Federalism
Joe Biden: ‘Jim Crow sneaking back in’ through voting law changes
Former Vice President Joe Biden told voters in South Carolina last weekend that the Trump administration is allowing the United States to return to the days of Jim Crow, a time when it was legal to deny black Americans the right to vote because of their race. The administration does not appear to be overtly denying people of color the right to vote - it is illegal to discriminate based on race. But some recent changes in voting laws led by those in the president's party appear to be having effects that mirror that period of legalized discrimination...
April 24, 2019 | Federalism
Planned Parenthood: States should oppose Trump ‘gag rule’
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — It's time for states with leaders who support abortion rights to go on the offensive against Trump administration attempts to restrict abortion that would reduce access to health care, the president of Planned Parenthood said Tuesday."States are a critical backstop at a time when we have the Trump-Pence administration stripping away women's health and rights and when we cannot depend on the Supreme Court," said Dr. Leana Wen...
April 9, 2019 | Federalism
Trump executive order will aim to prevent states from blocking pipelines, energy infrastructure
President Donald Trump will issue an executive order that aims to prevent states from blocking pipelines and other energy infrastructure by using authority granted to them under the Clean Water Act.Senior administration officials on Tuesday previewed the action and several others, which are contained in two executive orders that Trump will sign during a trip to Texas on Wednesday. They are the latest in a series of executive orders by Trump meant to roll back energy regulations and promote fossil fuel development...
April 4, 2019 | Federalism
Gardner, Neguse, Bennet unveil states’ rights marijuana bill for second straight year
DENVER – Colorado’s U.S. senators, Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet, along with Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., on Thursday morning introduced for a second straight year the STATES Act, a states’ rights marijuana bill with bipartisan support.The bill was unveiled in a Thursday morning news conference that featured Gardner, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and Rep. David Joyce, D-Ohio...
April 1, 2019 | Federalism
House committee advances bill to let banks serve legitimate marijuana businesses
The House Financial Services Committee advanced last week legislation that allows marijuana-related businesses in states with existing regulatory structures to access the banking system. The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2019 advanced the committee by a vote of 45 to 15. It now moves to the full House floor for further consideration. Cannabis is currently considered illegal under federal law, so banks that providing services to legitimate and licensed marijuana businesses in states where it is legal are subject to criminal prosecution...
March 26, 2019 | Federalism
EPA may thwart efforts by states to set stricter pesticide rules
State regulators are worried that the Environmental Protection Agency is getting ready to override them on a host of pesticide regulations by negating stricter rules intended to curb crop damage or prevent environmental hazards from pesticides.The EPA quietly announced last week that it was considering a new way to handle requests by states that want to impose stricter rules or extra training than the federal government mandates on pesticides. The EPA said it won’t make any changes this growing season and will have a public comment period before changes are made, but the agency said it was evaluating “the circumstances under which it will exercise its authority to disapprove those requests.”...
March 21, 2019 | Federalism
Mississippi Bans Abortions if Heartbeat Can Be Heard. Expect a Legal Fight.
Phil Bryant, the Republican governor of Mississippi, on Thursday signed a bill largely banning abortions once doctors can detect a trace of a fetal heartbeat with an ultrasound, a milestone that can come as early as six weeks into pregnancy.Mississippi is only the latest state to press for the strict abortion limit — the sort that has already been passed and then blocked in the courts in states including Kentucky, which approved it earlier this month, and Iowa, where a law passed last year was struck down by a state court in January...
March 11, 2019 | Federalism
Doing away with daylight saving time: A measure moves forward
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) - - It's something legislative staffers, researchers, and legislators say citizens talk about, ask about, and complain about more than any issue. Daylight saving time. Monday, the state legislature took a step toward doing something about it.
House Joint Resolution 15 had a hearing Monday. The House Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee discussed the measure and decided to pass it forward. By taking that action, lawmakers agreed Utah should endorse and support efforts in the U.S. Congress, to allow states to determine whether they choose to stay on daylight saving time or opt out...
March 5, 2019 | Federalism
Illinois, 20 Other States To Sue Over Trump’s New Restrictions On Family Planning Clinics And Abortions
CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — Illinois and 20 other states are filing lawsuits seeking to block the Trump administration’s new rule to make it more difficult for women to get abortions...
February 26, 2019 | Federalism
Democrats introduce Voting Rights Advancement Act
WASHINGTON D.C. (WIAT) -- Democrats plan to introduce a bill Tuesday to reinstate federal oversight of voting laws in states with a history of racial discrimination.
In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court said federal oversight of state elections used an outdated formula to unfairly singled out a group of mostly southern states. It is reported that the Democrats say they have come up with a modern formula to identify states that are guilty of more recent discrimination...
February 19, 2019 | Federalism
Virginia Wants To Ban Uranium Mining. The Supreme Court Will Decide If It Can.
The Supreme Court will decide in 2019 whether a Virginia law that bans uranium mining is preempted by the Atomic Energy Act, the federal law governing the processing and enrichment of nuclear material.
The case, Virginia Uranium, Inc. v. Warren, will require the court to interpret laws governing nuclear fuel production. But its most significant, long-term impact might be the glimpse it provides into the court’s view of the proper balance between federal regulatory power and the rights of states in setting their own policies...
February 11, 2019 | Federalism
Report: States passed more pro-LGBT laws in 2018 than anti-LGBT laws
Feb. 11 (UPI) -- More state bills supporting LGBT rights were passed last year compared to bills aiming to oppress them, a new study has revealed.
Last year, 21 of 210 proposed bills in favor of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people were passed while only two of 110 proposed anti-LGBT bills were enacted, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation said in its annual State Equality Index...
February 7, 2019 | Federalism
New Mexico abortion bill called ‘most extreme in the nation’
Following the New York abortion law celebrated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Vermont is pushing a "right to abortion" bill that goes even further. But opponents of a new abortion bill in New Mexico say a proposal in that state would be the "most extreme bill in the nation" due to its far-reaching changes.
Advocates of the abortion bill that decriminalizes abortion in the state say it is needed in case Roe v. Wade is overturned, but pro-life supporters say it allows abortion-on-demand for any reason, taking away parental notification for minors and conscience protections from the state law...
February 4, 2019 | Federalism
Arizona tribes could offer sports betting at your local bar under bill in Legislature
Arizona gamblers could place sports bets on machines at their local bar and at tribal casinos under a bill proposed by Sen. Sonny Borrelli, R-Lake Havasu City.
Borrelli's bill is one of several around the country being pushed in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that opened the door to state-regulated sports betting...
January 23, 2019 | Federalism
Under Trump, states step up effort to restrict abortion access
Louisville, Kentucky - Outside Kentucky's last abortion clinic, anti-abortion rights protesters gather each day to face off against orange-vested volunteers who escort women inside for a procedure that state politicians have increasingly sought to restrict in recent years...
January 20, 2019 | Federalism
Supreme Court’s Wine-Regulation Case Focuses On Protectionism
Mega-retailer Total Wine & More made its case against Tennessee retail associations and laws as it desires to open stores within the state. Tennessee currently has a residency requirement for operators owning retail stores that mandate that they have lived in the state for at least 10 years.
Total’s attorneys challenged that notion, along with attorneys for Mary and Doug Ketchum, who moved to Tennessee as they were told the weather would be better for their mentally disabled child...
January 9, 2019 | Federalism
Can a state be hauled into another state’s courts? Supreme Court tries to decide
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court tried for the third time Wednesday to resolve a decades-old legal battle between California and Nevada whose roots date back to the nation's founding.
At stake is an important issue of states' rights: Can a state be hauled into another state's court system against its will? Forty years ago, the high court allowed it. But times – and all the justices – have changed...
December 3, 2018 | Federalism
Coalition asks U.S. Supreme Court to uphold states’ rights to sue pharmaceutical manufacturers
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is the latest state legal officer to join a 23-state coalition…
December 2, 2018 | Federalism
Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Michigan on Thursday: What to know
Recreational marijuana will become legal before the end of the year in the state of Michigan after voters approved a proposal in the November election….
November 28, 2018 | Federalism
Supreme Court Appears Ready to Make it Harder for States to Confiscate Property
At the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday, a majority of the justices seemed ready to make it more difficult for states to confiscate cars, houses and other property that is even tangentially used in the commission of a crime…
November 20, 2018 | Federalism
Ohio joining suit to preserve states’ rights to regulate pharmacy middlemen
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine will support Arkansas in its bid to get the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower-court ruling throwing out state regulations of pharmacy middlemen…
November 10, 2018 | Federalism
Whitaker said he supports state’s rights to nullify federal law
Matthew Whitaker, the new acting attorney general, has said that states have the right to nullify federal law, but that they need the political courage to do so…
November 4, 2018 | Federalism
California Attorney General Joins Coalition in Defending States’ Rights to Implement Gun Safety Laws
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Friday joined a coalition of 16 Attorneys General supporting New Jersey and its defense of reasonable gun legislation that restricts large-capacity magazines…
July 11, 2018 | Federalism
What Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Could Mean for States’ Rights
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s rulings on federal regulatory power, and his approach to the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, provide the best hints of how he might rule on cases involving states’ rights…
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