Appellate Advocacy at Vermont Law School
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Judges' Information Pages


City of Austin v. Reagan Outdoor Advertising Co.

The sign code of the City of Austin, Texas treats on-premises signs (e.g., signs located on school or church property identifying the school or church) differently from off-premises signs (e.g., billboards). The former may be digitized, but the latter may not for reasons of aesthetics and traffic safety. Respondents, two outdoor advertising companies, challenged the on-premises/off-premises distinction as a content-based regulation that fails strict scrutiny, hence violates the First Amendment. The Fifth Circuit agreed with the advertisers. At issue in the Supreme Court is whether the city code's distinction between on- and off-premises signs is a facially unconstitutional content-based regulation under the Court's decision in a previous sign-regulation case, Reed v. Town of Gilbert, 135 S. Ct. 2218 (2015).

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Corlett

In New York, state statute prohibits persons from carrying handguns outside the home for general self-defense. Rather, a person who wishes to carry a handgun outside the home must demonstrate "proper cause" for a carry permit, defined generally as a showing that the person has some special need for self-defense such as being the victim of previous violence that is likely to occur again. Petitioners were denied permits to carry handguns outside the home because they had no factual basis to support "proper cause" for such permits, they now challenge the "proper cause" requirement as a violation of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

United States v. Vaello-Madero

José Luis Vaello-Madero is a U.S. citizen. He was born in Puerto Rico and lived in New York from 1985 until 2013. In 2012, he became eligible for, and began receiving, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits due to a health condition. In 2013, he moved to Puerto Rico to help care for his ill wife. The government discontinued his SSI benefits because he was living "outside of the U.S." The question before the Court is whether providing SSI benefits to eligible individuals residing in the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the Northern Mariana Islands, but not to eligible individuals residing in Puerto Rico, contravenes the equal protection guarantees of the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Case Dates: 11/17, 11/18, 11/19, 11/22, 11/23, 11/30, 12/1, 12/2

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