Recognizing that the federal court system is responsible for much of the law affecting cities and their scope of authority, NLC provides a vehicle for NLC to support cities involved in significant litigation or administrative adjudication that could affect municipal organization, operation, powers, duties, or financing through legal advocacy. NLC presents, or assist in presenting, sound and persuasive legal arguments to the courts through appropriate cases on principles and issues important to good municipal government, such as:

  • Local legislative discretion;
  • Protection of local public revenue authority;
  • Opposition to federal unfunded mandates and preemption; and
  • Judicial deference to policy determinations by local governing bodies.

Through legal advocacy, NLC serves as a more effective and aggressive advocate for legal issues of national importance to local governments.

Legal Advisory Committee

The Legal Advisory Committee is a standing advisory body that, with the assistance of NLC legal staff, has responsibility for surveying pending legal matters, evaluating requests for assistance, and making recommendations to the NLC Executive Director about cases that NLC should initiate or seek to participate in by filing an action, intervening as a party, filing or signing onto an amicus brief, providing financial support, or otherwise as appropriate.

Local Government Legal Center

NLC is a founding member of the Local Government Legal Center (LGLC), which provides a strong and unified local government voice before the U.S. Supreme Court and lower courts in cases that are of consequence to municipal operations. The LGLC also serves as a resource for local governments regarding the Supreme Court, providing education to local governments regarding the Supreme Court and its impact on local governments and local officials.

Comments or Questions?

Stephanie Martinez-Ruckman
Legislative Director, Human Development
Federal Advocacy