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New Developments in Environmental Law
Municipal Law

Municipal Law (5)

Supreme Court Strikes Down the City of Boston’s Flag-Flying Practice at City Hall Plaza as Going Over a Bright Line Between Rightful Control of Government Speech and Relaxed Regulation of Private Speech

Written by
/ Published Monday, 12 September 2022 12:52
In the case of Shurtleff v. City of Boston, 596 US ___ (May 2, 2022), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the City of Boston’s flag-raising program did not constitute government speech. Consequently, the City’s refusal to allow the petitioners to fly their flag because of its religious viewpoint violated the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment to the US Constitution. Let’s see how this regulatory analysis works.

Regulatory Takings: Ripeness: Exhaustion and Finality

Written by
/ Published Wednesday, 29 December 2021 15:17
Takings jurisprudence requires that courts know the extent of a regulation’s interference with property rights prior to making any adjudication on its validity. Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank, 473 U.S. 172 (1985)

Risky Business: Using Email to Communicate Among State and Local Government Board Members Outside of Meetings

Written by
/ Published Thursday, 05 April 2018 12:20
Many people embrace the state’s Open Meeting Law goal to have deliberations and decisions of local government boards, committees, and commissions open to public view. At the same time, most people have fully incorporated e-mail into their lives as an efficient means of communications. When serving on a conservation commission, planning board, zoning board of appeal, board of health, or other local board, committee or commission, the prolific use of email and laudable public policy can collide.

New Law Means Less Control for Municipalities

Written by
/ Published Tuesday, 11 October 2016 14:21
On August 10, 2016 Governor Baker signed HB 4569 into law. It is titled, “An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development,” and appears as Chapter 219 of the Acts of 2016. Despite declining to approve two sections of the Bill, Governor Baker approved Section 48, which will have confusing implications for environmental regulation in municipalities, and likely lead to a slew of doubt, disputes, and even lawsuits.

Municipal Modernization Act a Smorgasbord of Changes on Environment and Land Use

Written by
/ Published Thursday, 25 August 2016 15:10
On August 9, 2016 Governor Baker approved HB 4565, “An Act Modernizing Municipal Finance and Government,” signing into law what is now Chapter 218 of the Acts of 2016. This newly enacted legislation tweaks, modifies, and streamlines several existing statutes governing cities and towns.

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