Federal Advocacy

The Supreme Court’s Impact on State and Local Government

Page from October 2021 GFR

Members are familiar with GFOA’s legislative and regulatory activity in Washington, D.C., but our efforts extending to the judicial branch may not be as well known. GFOA is an associate member of the State and Local Legal Center (SLLC), which files amicus curiae briefs in support of states and local governments in the U.S. Supreme Court. Other SLLC members include the National Governors Association, National Conference of State Legislatures, Council of State Governments, National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, United States Conference of Mayors, and International City/County Management Association. All GFOA members and associate members may join SLLC amicus briefs, which advocate for legal positions favorable to state and local governments and provide the court with policy and practical reasons to rule in favor of the SLLC’s position.

The SLLC files briefs for cases that cover a range of topics affecting states and local governments, including federalism, preemption, First Amendment free speech rights, qualified immunity (usually for police officers), Fifth Amendment takings, public employment, deference to federal agency rules, and taxation. Finance officers need to be aware of these types of cases as they wind through the judicial system because their final rulings can shape public policy. Below are some of the cases of import to state and local governments that either the Supreme Court has decided or will be deciding in the coming months.

  • Publication date: October 2021