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A big upheaval could be coming for America’s state legislatures. On December 8, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Evenwel v. Abbott , a closely watched case from Texas that will decide whether states must change the way they draw legislative districts. The new analysis in this paper shows that if the Evenwel challengers prevail, the nationwide impact will be far greater than previously assumed. Continue reading:

The U.S. Justice Department will open an investigation into the Chicago Police Department after protests over how it handled the case of a black teenager shot by a white police officer, a person familiar with the matter said on Sunday. Continue reading:

When Americans lose track of money in neglected bank accounts, paychecks they forgot to cash and elsewhere - state governments are increasingly aggressive in taking control of the cash.  Now, with those efforts swelling state coffers by more than $40 billion and lawmakers using some of it to patch budget holes, skirmishes are breaking out between states and companies with their own interest in holding on to the unclaimed property. Continue reading.

In a change of course, Gov. Robert Bentley Friday evening announced that the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency would return driver’s license examiners to 31 rural counties.  A statement from the governor’s office said an examiner would spend at least one day each month in each of the counties slated to lose part-time examiners under budget cuts announced by ALEA at the end of last month. Continue reading.

A federal judge ruled on Friday that the state of Texas can continue to deny birth certificates to U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants. Texas stopped accepting certain types of identification issued by foreign governments, notably ID cards from Mexican consulates, as sufficient documentation to issue a birth certificate to a parent. Continue reading.

After facing resistance to new gun-control measures in the General Assembly, Gov. Terry McAuliffe used his executive authority Thursday to bolster prosecutions of illegal gun sales and ban firearms in most state offices. Continue reading.

Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn is calling for a series of reforms to be more “just and fair” toward some nonviolent and repeat offenders, and close loopholes in the state’s gun crime laws.  The proposals will include ideas on investing in law enforcement and drug treatment, changing how juveniles are treated and ensuring the accuracy and fairness of the system. Continue reading.

Maryland is likely to begin recalling Maryland license plates with images of the Confederate flag this fall after a federal judge agreed on Thursday to lift a 1997 injunction that prevented the state from taking the specialty plates out of circulation. Continue reading

The District would become the most generous place in the country for a worker to take time off after giving birth or to care for a dying parent under a measure supported by a majority of the D.C. Council.  Under the legislation that will be introduced Tuesday, almost every part-time and full-time employee in the nation’s capital would be entitled to 16 weeks of paid family leave to bond with an infant or an adopted child, recover from an illness, recuperate from a military deployment or tend to an ill family member.  Continue reading.

Law enforcement would have a tougher time taking ownership of assets suspected of ties to illegal activity and be required to disclose their seizure practices under legislation nearing Gov. Rick Snyder's desk. Continue reading.