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MRSC Insight Blog


Posts for Robert Sepler

Ninth Circuit Holds Reed v. Town of Gilbert Does Not Extend to Commercial Speech

On August 16, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Contest Promotions v. City and County of San Francisco, providing its first official guidance on the question of whether Reed v. Town of Gilbert controls the regulation of commercial speech as well as noncommercial speech. In this blog post, MRSC Legal Consultant Robert Sepler gives an overview of this case.

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New Open Government Legislation: The Odds & Ends

In addition to some big changes to the PRA, the legislature also made a number of other, relatively minor, tweaks to both the PRA and the OPMA this session. In this blog post, MRSC Legal Consultant Robert Sepler gives a quick overview of these odds and ends.

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What Can Local Governments Do About Drones

Wondering what the latest is regarding drones? This blog post provides a quick overview of what local governments in Washington can and cannot do to regulate drone use in their jurisdiction.

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Sanctuary Cities and Counties

Sanctuary cities and counties have recently taken center stage in the national debate on immigration. Given the relevance of this issue to local governments in Washington State, this blog post will explore what “sanctuary” jurisdictions are, how they are designated, and reasons local governments have cited for and against becoming a “sanctuary” jurisdiction.

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New Federal Rules Governing Commercial Drones

On August 29, 2016, new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) drone regulations came into effect that govern the operation of certain “small unmanned aircraft systems” (sUAS) operated for commercial purposes (“sUAS” is what the FAA calls drones weighing less than 55 pounds).

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A Practical View on Records Requests for Judicial Records

If your agency receives a request for records, some of which appear to be judicial records, what's the safest way to proceed?

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Records Requests for Judicial Records

It’s been about four months since the new court rule governing administrative judicial records, GR 31.1, became effective, so here's a quick refresher on the law governing records requests for judicial records.

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The PRA and Nextdoor.com: 3 Things Public Officials Should Know Before They Log On

You’ve likely heard a lot about the public records concerns with social media, but Nextdoor, a relatively new social networking website focused on distinct neighborhoods, represents a new twist on social media that has some unique Public Records Act (PRA) implications.

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New Federal Drone Regulations and Guidance

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently took two actions related to the regulation of “unmanned aircraft”—more commonly known as “drones”—that I think are relevant to local governments here in Washington State.

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Courts in the Ninth Circuit Decline to Extend Reed v. Town of Gilbert to Commercial Speech

After the U.S. Supreme Court released its decision in Reed v. Town of Gilbert four months ago striking down that Arizona town’s sign code as being unconstitutionally content-based, some commentators, including one from The New York Times, were quick to raise the alarm that the decision would have consequences far beyond local sign codes. Although the decision has undoubtedly created uncertainty, it has not yet led to any such consequences so far in the Ninth Circuit, the federal circuit that includes Washington State.

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Drones: Whether Local Governments Can Regulate Unmanned Aircraft

Can or should local governments in Washington regulate the use of drones?

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