Court Rulings

Aerial view of housing and freeway in Cupertino, California.

A Win for Single-Family Zoning in California

Five Southern California charter cities need not worry about lot splitting in their single-family zoned neighborhoods thanks to a Los Angeles County superior court ruling on April 22. Depending on a forthcoming ruling, 120 cities may join them.

April 29, 2024 - The Mercury News

People gathered in front of US Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

Will Supreme Court Case Lead to Lower Impact Fees — or Just More Studies?

Everybody seems to think that the recent case from California could lead to dramatically lower fees — and lower housing costs. But that's not what the court decided.

April 26, 2024 - California Planning & Development Report

A statue of Thurgood Marshall in the lawyers mall in front of Maryland General Assembly and the Supreme Court.

State Supreme Court Clears Way for Defunct Airport Redevelopment in Maryland

The legal controversies over a zoning amendment approved in 2019 went all the way to the top court in the state of Maryland, but by the time the court ruled, the Bowie City Council had already repealed the amendment in question.

August 28, 2023 - The Daily Record

Montana

Landmark Climate Decision Rules in Favor of Montana Youth

The ruling in Held v. Montana is the first of its kind in the United States, according to reports.

August 15, 2023 - The Washington Post

Natural gas stove with blue flame

Berkeley’s First-in-Nation Natural Gas Ban Overthrown by Court Ruling

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Berkeley does not have the power to mandate electric hookups in new development because a federal rule preempts the local regulation.

April 18, 2023 - Bloomberg Law

Seattle Transit

Fare Enforcement Upheld by Washington Supreme Court

But using armed police to enforce fare payment is less than ideal in the eyes of the top court in the state of Washington.

March 21, 2023 - Crosscut

A close up image of the exterior of the U.S. Capitol Rotunda illuminated at dusk.

Senate Vote Illustrates America's Polarized Response to Pandemic

A Senate joint resolution to roll back the Biden administration's only vaccine mandate to be upheld by the Supreme Court passed on a party-line vote on March 2. In Europe, the legislative branch often needs to approve these measures to become law.

March 7, 2022 - The New York Times

Students passing through the historic Sather Gate on the University of California, Berkeley campus.

Without New Environmental Impact Report, UC Berkeley Will Enroll Thousands Fewer Students

A high-profile example of the power of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) might cause thousands of students to miss out on a chance to attend the University of California, Berkeley.

February 15, 2022 - Berkeleyside

The exterior of the U.S. Supreme Court, with an American flag flying above its large columns and white marble exterior.

Supreme Court: OSHA Exceeded its Public Health Authority

The Supreme Court ruled that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration had overreached its authority to protect the health of workers in large private companies. In a separate decision, it upheld a vaccine mandate for most healthcare workers.

January 18, 2022 - The New York Times

Coronavirus Testing

Court: Federal COVID-19 'Vaccine or Test-and-Mask' Mandate 'Fatally Flawed'

The Biden Administration's most sweeping and possibly controversial action to increase COVID vaccinations has been stayed twice by a federal appeals court and is likely headed to the Supreme Court

November 15, 2021 - The New York Times

Pandemic Protest

Pandemic Debate: Civil Liberties vs. Individual Liberties

The American Civil Liberties Union stepped into the nation's masking debate in K-12 schools on the side of parents of students with disabilities. They won the first round in the U.S. Southern District Court of Iowa. Mask mandates are permitted again.

September 20, 2021 - Des Moines Register

Coast Stream

Judge Tosses Trump Administration's Rollback of 'Waters of the United States' Protections

The Trump administration's Navigable Waters Protection Rule was sloppy, and it would have done "serious environmental harm," according to a recent court ruling.

September 5, 2021 - The Washington Post

Students passing through the historic Sather Gate on the University of California, Berkeley campus.

Judge Caps Enrollment at UC Berkeley Pending Environmental Impact Report

An Alameda County judge dealt a stunning rebuke of a plan to expand the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, with housing and new space for the Goodman School of Public Policy.

August 30, 2021 - Berkeleyside

Social Distancing

Supreme Court of Texas Upholds Governor's Ban on Local Mask Mandates

As the coronavirus surges in hard-hit Texas, threatening to overwhelm hospitals, the state supreme court affirmed the right of the governor to preempt local governments from enacting proven health measures to keep residents safe from infection.

August 17, 2021 - Houston Chronicle

Cruise Ship

Coronavirus Litigation: CDC Loses Ability to Regulate Cruise Industry in Win for Florida Governor

In a stunning reversal, a federal appeals court panel on July 23 reversed its ruling issued six days earlier in favor of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after Gov. Ron DeSantis appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court.

July 27, 2021 - Reuters

COVID-19 Eviction Crisis

Federal Judge Tosses CDC's Eviction Moratorium

"The CDC order must be set aside," said U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich in a ruling announced Wednesday, May 5.

May 6, 2021 - Bloomberg

California Homeless

Judge Presses Pause on Controversial Skid Row Housing Order

A 60-day grace period and some additional contingencies have been added to a court order for the city and county of Los Angeles to provide shelter or housing to the thousands of people experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Downtown Los Angeles.

April 28, 2021 - Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles, California

Judge's Ruling Will Force L.A. to Reckon With Skid Row

A federal judge has ruled that the city and county of Los Angeles, home to the nation's largest population of people experiencing homelessness, must overcome the development delays that have prevented the creation of new supportive housing.

April 21, 2021 - Los Angeles Times

Grocery Store Public Health

California Judge Berates L.A. County Public Health Department in Outdoor Dining Ruling

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge was critical of county public health officials for banning outdoor dining to slow the spread of the coronavirus without providing scientific evidence that the order would reduce infections.

December 14, 2020 - Courthouse News Service

Supreme Court Statue

SCOTUS: Freedom of Religion Trumps Public Health in a Pandemic

In a late-night 5-4 ruling on the eve of Thanksgiving, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a governor's executive order to stem the spread of a contagious virus can not impede the right of people to gather in a church.

November 29, 2020 - SCOTUS Blog

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Top Books

An annual review of books related to planning.

Top Websites

The best of the Internet—since 2002.

Top Apps

Planning apps for a brave new world.

Top Schools

The definitive ranking of graduate planning programs.

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.