APA works to advance planning through the judicial process by filing amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs in selected cases of national importance.

Amicus Curiae Committee

The APA Amicus Curiae Committee is one of the more visible parts of APA. Through its efforts, APA files "friend-of-the-court" briefs in state and federal courts in cases of importance to the planning profession and the public interest.

Amicus Curiae Committee

Breaking News

APA Applauds Supreme Court Decision Preserving Fair Housing Tool (June 25, 2015)

Today's U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project reaffirms the value of disparate-impact analysis in ensuring fair housing. The decision also adds clarity for planners, local officials, and courts on how disparate-impact analysis can be used.

APA is pleased with the outcome and applauds the Supreme Court for preserving such an important tool for localities. Find out what the ruling means for planners during the 2015 Planning Law Review on July 1.

Read APA's amicus brief in this case

Read APA's news release about this decision

Supreme Court Decision Strikes Down Arizona Sign Law

The U.S. Supreme Court's June 18, 2015, decision in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona, is likely to affect sign rules and regulations in many communities across the country.

The American Planning Association (APA) filed an amicus brief in support of the Town of Gilbert. APA is disappointed in the outcome; however, planners are ready to work with communities in implementing updated regulations that continue to respond to the needs and interests of local residents.

For more information about the case, register online for APA's 2015 Planning Law Review audio/web conference to be held on Wednesday, July 1, 2015.

Read APA's news release about this decision

Recent APA Amicus Briefs

Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. (2015)

APA and other friends of the court argue that the benefits of continued recognition of a disparate impact standard under the Fair Housing Act substantially outweigh the minimal costs that the standard imposes.

Scenic America, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Transportation (2015)

The brief from APA and other friends of the court focuses on the legal status of digital billboards using lighting to display alternating commercial messages adjacent to federal roadways in four-to-ten-second intervals. Are such billboards in keeping with the Highway Beautification Act and observance of the "consistent with customary use" limitation on lighting?

Reed v. Town of Gilbert (2014)

APA and other friends of the court are concerned that local governments will face a nearly impossible task in crafting constitutional sign regulations if they are unable to use a common sense classification of temporary signs based upon their functions.

View all APA Amicus Briefs

Planning & Environmental Law

Keep up with the latest judicial decisions and legislation that affect planning without slogging through pages of legal jargon and irrelevant cases. Planning & Environmental Law delivers incisive commentaries and on-target abstracts of the judicial decisions and legislation planners and planning lawyers need to know.

Learn more

Planning and Law Division

The Planning and Law Division of the American Planning Association serves those with a professional or personal interest in the diverse legal issues that affect the planning profession. PLD's membership includes attorneys, planners, students, and others

Planning and Law Division