U.S. Supreme Court Pronounces Factors to be Considered By Courts in Regulatory Taking Cases

On June 23, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in the eminent domain case of Murr, et al. v. Wisconsin, et al., 582 U.S. ____ (2017). In Murr, the Court addressed whether two legally-distinct, but contiguous, commonly owned parcels should be treated as a single parcel in determining whether a regulatory taking has been affected. The Court rejected the different formalistic approaches suggested by the parties. Instead, the Court held that a multifactor test should be used that examines: (1) how state and federal law defines the property; (2) the physical characteristics of the property; and (3) the prospective value of the regulated land. [More]

U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights Issues Instructions Regarding Complaints Involving Transgender Students

On June 6, 2017, Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Candice Jackson, issued instructions to the directors of the regional offices of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights (OCR) regarding complaints involving transgender students. The instructions come in response to three events that have impacted transgender law in public schools: (1) the withdrawal of two guidance documents by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice; (2) the dismissal of State of Texas v. United States; and (3) the remand of Gloucester County School Board v. G.G. [More]

Questionably Offensive Trademarks Cleared for U.S. Registration

On June 19, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the disparagement clause violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. This decision emanates from the case involving the lead singer of the rock group called "The Slants" who sought federal registration of the mark "THE SLANTS". The registration was originally denied by the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) because the name was determined to be offensive to particular ethnic groups that have been described as having slant-eyes. [More]

U.S. Supreme Court Pronounces Factors to be Considered By Courts in Regulatory Taking Cases

On June 23, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in the eminent domain case of Murr, et al. v. Wisconsin, et al., 582 U.S. ____ (2017). In Murr, the Court addressed whether two legally-distinct, but contiguous, commonly owned parcels should be treated as a single parcel in determining whether a regulatory taking has been affected. The Court rejected the different formalistic approaches suggested by the parties. Instead, the Court held that a multifactor test should be used that examines: (1) how state and federal law defines the property; (2) the physical characteristics of the property; and (3) the prospective value of the regulated land. [More]

Questionably Offensive Trademarks Cleared for U.S. Registration

On June 19, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the disparagement clause violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. This decision emanates from the case involving the lead singer of the rock group called "The Slants" who sought federal registration of the mark "THE SLANTS". The registration was originally denied by the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) because the name was determined to be offensive to particular ethnic groups that have been described as having slant-eyes. [More]