Non-profit

International Municipal Lawyers Association

Website:

imla.org/

Location:

ROCKVILLE, MD

Tax ID:

53-0214280

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $1,563,447
Expenses: $1,545,332
Assets: $826,847

Executive Director:

Chuck Thompson

Type:

Corporation

The International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA) is a membership organization that advocates for the interests of and provides resources for local government attorneys in the United States and Canada. [1]

Its Legal Advocacy Program supports through the filing of amicus briefs cases where member lawyers (representing their municipalities) are involved, which—in many instances—has meant the IMLA has filed amicus briefs at the U.S. Supreme Court seeking a left-of-center ruling that favors municipalities and governments. [2] This has occurred in landmark cases involving nationwide state recognition of same-sex marriages[3] [4] and in cases involving government restrictions on political speech[5] and religious liberty. [6]

Background

Founded in 1935, the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that advocates for the interests of and provides resources for local government attorneys in the United States and Canada. [7] Member attorneys are granted access to IMLA’s continuing legal education seminars,[8] to draft examples for proposed city ordinances and legal documents,[9] and to professional networking opportunities at annual conferences[10] and through a job board. [11]

The IMLA’s Legal Advocacy Program supports through the filing of amicus briefs at the appellate level cases where member lawyers (representing their municipalities) are involved. IMLA also provides amicus briefs in cases where the organization deems the general interests of municipal governments in need of protection. In this role, IMLA has filed many amicus briefs on the merits of landmark cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, often advocating for a left-of-center decision. [12]

Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky (2018)

This case involved a state law prohibiting political expression at polling places in Minnesota. An individual wearing a button with the phrase “Please ID me” and a t-shirt promoting a Tea Party organization—neither of which endorsed or opposed a specific candidate or ballot measure—was found in violation of the law and challenged it. IMLA filed an amicus brief in defense of the law, arguing the restriction on speech protected the right of voters to cast their ballots without encountering acrimony and “turmoil” at polling places. [13]

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that the prohibition was overly broad and a violation of the First Amendment right to free expression. [14]

Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (2018)

This case involved a baker in Colorado who refused, on religious grounds, to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled the baker in violation of the state’s anti-discrimination law. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of the baker, but on the very narrow ground that in their proceedings to implement the law Colorado officials had demonstrated a religious bias against the specific baker. The Court reversed the specific ruling by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission against the baker but did not rule that the anti-discrimination law itself discriminated against the baker’s right to religious expression. [15]

IMLA’s amicus brief broadly defended the legitimacy of the anti-discrimination law as it applied to equal accommodation for wedding couples, regardless of sexual orientation, and encouraged the Court not to carve out a specific exception for wedding cake bakers or similarly situated business. [16]

National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra (2018)

A California law, the FACT Act, had required the state’s crisis pregnancy centers to post notices advising pregnant women of their medical options, including the option to abort a pregnancy. Crisis pregnancy centers are generally established to help pregnant women who wish to give birth and oppose abortion on ethical or religious grounds. As such, the crisis pregnancy centers opposed the state’s abortion notification requirement as a violation of their First Amendment rights. The Court ruled 5-4 against the law, finding that in compelling the crisis pregnancy centers to post messages in violation of their beliefs the state of California was violating the First Amendment. [17]

IMLA’s amicus brief was in support of the state and asked the Court to not set a precedent that would impose strict First Amendment scrutiny on regulatory notices. [18]

Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)

This 5-4 ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court found that the right to marry applied to same sex couples nationwide. The Court ruled that same-sex couples have an equal right to marry under the U.S. Constitution’s due process clause and the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. [19]

IMLA’s amicus brief in the case argued that the “freedom to marry is a fundamental right for everyone, including gay men and lesbians.” [20]

Leadership

Chuck Thompson is the general counsel and executive director for IMLA. Prior to joining IMLA, Thompson held the position of County Attorney for Montgomery County, Maryland. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the Virginia Military Institute and a law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law. [21]

Amanda Kellar is the deputy general counsel and director of legal advocacy for IMLA. [22]

Finances

2017[23]

Revenue:          $1,524,751

Expenses:         $1,479,459

Assets:              $893,780

References

  1. “About/Mission/History.” IMLA. Accessed August 26, 2020. https://imla.org/about-mission-history/ ^
  2. “Legal Advocacy Program.” IMLA. August 26, 2020. https://imla.org/legal-advocacy/ ^
  3. “Legal Advocacy Program: Past Supreme Court Merits Cases.” IMLA. August 26, 2020. https://imla.org/legal-advocacy/ ^
  4. Denniston, Lyle (June 26, 2015). “Opinion Analysis: Marriage Now Open to Same-Sex Couples”. SCOTUSblog. Accessed August 26, 2020. https://www.scotusblog.com/2015/06/opinion-analysis-marriage-now-open-to-same-sex-couples/ ^
  5. Williams, Pete (June 14, 2018). “Supreme Court strikes down law that barred voters from wearing clothes with political message at polling places”. NBC News. Accessed August 26, 2020. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/supreme-court/supreme-court-strikes-down-polling-place-dress-codes-n872536 ^
  6. “AMICI CURIAE BRIEF OF THE NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES, INTERNATIONAL CITY/COUNTY MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION, AND INTERNATIONAL MUNICIPAL  LAWYERS ASSOCIATION  IN SUPPORT OF RESPONDENTS.” MASTERPIECE CAKE SHOP, LTD.; AND JACK C. PHILLIPS, Petitioners, v. COLORADO CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION; CHARLIE CRAIG; AND DAVID MULLINS, Respondents. U.S. Supreme Court. No. 16-111. Accessed August 26, 2020. http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/624306/27733219/1509393925030/Masterpiece+Cake.pdf?token=mU5wBnQWk%2FyEtn6cSnYH%2Foz5wjU%3D ^
  7. “About/Mission/History.” IMLA. Accessed August 26, 2020. https://imla.org/about-mission-history/ ^
  8. “CLE Corner.” IMLA. Accessed August 26, 2020. https://imla.org/cle-corner/ ^
  9. “Model Ordinances, Policies, and Guideline Documents.” IMLA. Accessed August 26, 2020. https://imla.org/model-ordinances-policies-and-guideline-documents/ ^
  10. “IMLA Annual Conference.” IMLA. Accessed August 26, 2020. https://imla.org/annual-conference/ ^
  11. “Job Board.” IMLA. Accessed August 26, 2020. https://imla.org/job-board/ ^
  12. “Legal Advocacy Program.” IMLA. August 26, 2020. https://imla.org/legal-advocacy/ ^
  13. “BRIEF OF NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES, NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES, U.S. CONFERENCE OF MAYORS, INTERNATIONAL CITY/COUNTY MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION, AND INTERNATIONAL MUNICIPAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION AS AMICI CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF RESPONDENTS.” MINNESOTA VOTERS ALLIANCE, ET AL., v. JOE MANSKY, ET AL. U.S. Supreme Court. No. 16-1435. Accessed August 26, 2020. http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/624306/27829075/1518534939853/Mansky.pdf?token=kHWDjUprkbya861uUgKfRfelbtk%3D ^
  14. Williams, Pete (June 14, 2018). “Supreme Court strikes down law that barred voters from wearing clothes with political message at polling places”. NBC News. Accessed August 26, 2020. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/supreme-court/supreme-court-strikes-down-polling-place-dress-codes-n872536 ^
  15. Volokh, Eugene (June 4, 2018). “The Masterpiece Cakeshop Decision Leaves Almost All the Big Questions Unresolved”. Reason. Accessed August 26, 2020. https://reason.com/2018/06/04/the-masterpiece-cakeshop-decision-leaves/ ^
  16. “AMICI CURIAE BRIEF OF THE NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES, INTERNATIONAL CITY/COUNTY MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION, AND INTERNATIONAL MUNICIPAL  LAWYERS ASSOCIATION  IN SUPPORT OF RESPONDENTS.” MASTERPIECE CAKE SHOP, LTD.; AND JACK C. PHILLIPS, Petitioners, v. COLORADO CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION; CHARLIE CRAIG; AND DAVID MULLINS, Respondents. U.S. Supreme Court. No. 16-111. Accessed August 26, 2020. http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/624306/27733219/1509393925030/Masterpiece+Cake.pdf?token=mU5wBnQWk%2FyEtn6cSnYH%2Foz5wjU%3D ^
  17. “Supreme Court Sides With California Anti-Abortion Pregnancy Centers”. NPR.org. June 26, 2018. Accessed August 26, 2020. https://www.npr.org/2018/06/26/606427673/supreme-court-sides-with-california-anti-abortion-pregnancy-centers ^
  18. “BRIEF OF NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES, UNITED STATES CONFERENCE OF MAYORS, INTERNATIONAL CITY/COUNTY MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION, AND INTERNATIONAL MUNICIPAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION AS AMICI CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF RESPONDENTS.” NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF FAMILY AND  LIFE ADVOCATES et al., Petitioners, v. XAVIER BECERRA et al., Respondents. U.S. Supreme Court. Nos. 16-1140, 16-1146, & 16-1153. Accessed August 26, 2020. http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/624306/27844681/1520026832257/NIFLA.pdf?token=hdtvouenWynN93jTdHG9d2NToxM%3D ^
  19. Denniston, Lyle (June 26, 2015). “Opinion Analysis: Marriage Now Open to Same-Sex Couples”. SCOTUSblog. Accessed August 26, 2020. https://www.scotusblog.com/2015/06/opinion-analysis-marriage-now-open-to-same-sex-couples/ ^
  20. “Legal Advocacy Program: Past Supreme Court Merits Cases.” IMLA. August 26, 2020. https://imla.org/legal-advocacy/ ^
  21. “Charles W. Thompson.” http://www.law.gwu.edu. Accessed May 10, 2020. https://www.law.gwu.edu/charles-w-thompson. ^
  22. “Equal Employment Opportunity Commission vs. Abercrombie and Fitch Stores, Inc.” State and Local Legal Center, January 28, 2015. http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/14-86bsacNationalConferenceOfStateLegislatures.pdf. ^
  23. International Municipal Lawyers Association. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2017. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/530214280/201931359349307093/full ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: October 1, 1990

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Jun Form 990 $1,563,447 $1,545,332 $826,847 $847,728 Y $159,746 $1,370,456 $684 $214,960 PDF
    2016 Jun Form 990 $1,413,344 $1,373,876 $927,999 $969,000 Y $98,287 $1,296,308 $818 $223,854
    2015 Jun Form 990 $1,333,732 $1,369,720 $664,262 $746,430 Y $88,051 $1,159,295 $2,743 $248,301 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $1,493,606 $1,507,985 $705,717 $748,011 Y $213,644 $1,216,187 $1,491 $241,298 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $1,360,249 $1,274,946 $810,372 $839,975 Y $114,082 $1,205,392 $1,096 $240,333 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $1,350,048 $1,282,902 $733,960 $850,375 Y $109,681 $1,200,971 $1,238 $225,255 PDF
    2011 Jun Form 990 $1,323,329 $1,185,932 $594,636 $780,006 Y $102,860 $1,191,719 $988 $230,468 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    International Municipal Lawyers Association

    51 MONROE ST STE 404
    ROCKVILLE, MD 20850-2475