Category Archives: Uncategorized

Discussion with Robert McWhirter: Just What’s So Exceptional About America? Rights, People, and the Bill of Rights

Robert McWhirter is an award-winning, internationally recognized speaker and author on trial advocacy, immigration law, and the history of The Bill of Rights. He is a supervising attorney at the ASU Alumni Law Group, a teaching law firm providing training for new lawyers from the Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, and serving clients of modest means. He recently published the book: Bills, Quills and Stills: An Annotated, Illustrated, and Illuminated History of the Bill of Rights.

Robert McWhirter will lead a discussion on Just What’s So Exceptional About America? Rights, People, and the Bill of Rights at Changing Hands bookstore in Tempe on Saturday, November 14th at 7:00p.m.

For more information, please visit:

How Harvard Law Library is Improving Access to Justice

Harvard Law Library’s Free the Law project aims to digitize the entire body of U.S. case law and make it available to the world in an open-access database.  All American case law will be free to search, download, and read.  If you would like to read about this astounding project, click the link below to a New York Times article.

Harvard Law Library Readies Trove of Decisions for Digital Age


Celebrate The Bar Exam Results: Way to Go Kyle Orne

ASU Law graduate Kyle Thomas Orne scored the highest on the exam, while his fellow graduates   bar-exam-919617  Robert Andrew Clarke and Christopher Jacob Waznik tied for second. All three graduated in May 2015.

“I was very surprised to have the top score — I’m not going to lie,” said Orne, who works as an associate in the Phoenix offices of Quarles & Brady. “Much of the bar exam focuses on what you learn as a 1L (first year). The ASU Law professors I had as a 1L were all really good, and I felt that I was prepared for the exam.”

Orne was also pleasantly surprised to learn that his former classmates tied for second place. “It looks like we studied together, but we didn’t,” he joked.

Among all bar exam test takers, ASU Law had a passage rate of 81.8 percent, far above the state average of 56.6 percent.

Congratulations from the Law Library!



Fall Break Hours

Temperatures are unlikely to peak above 100 degrees…it’s Fall in Arizona! Time to break up the semester by visiting cooler climes before they get cold, or enjoy a few less than blistering days here before afternoons become truly lovely this winter.

If a school break seems like a silly reason to stop coming to the library, you’ll need to know our Fall Break schedule. The library will be open the following hours:

  • Friday, October 2nd:   7:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Saturday – Sunday, October 3rd – 4th:   8:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Monday – Thursday, October 5th – 8th:   8:00 am – 8:00 pm
  • Friday – Saturday, October 9th – 10th:    8:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Sunday, October 11th:   8:00 am – 10:00 pm

Reference Librarians will keep regular hours during Fall Break, because they are regular people. They are here to help you between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm, Monday – Friday.


Constitution Day Event: Unalienable Rights: The Role of the Creator in Public Life

ConstitutionCome celebrate Constitution Day at ASU Libraries Constitution Day Celebration on September 17th from 12 Noon to 1 PM in Hayden Library Room 133.  The event will feature Dr. Owen Anderson, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religious studies in ASU’s New College. In 2013-2014 he was the William E. Simon research fellow in the James Madison Program at Princeton University and a visiting scholar at Princeton Seminary.  He has published seven books including The Declaration of Independence and God (2015) and The Natural Moral Law (2013) with Cambridge University Press.  His areas of research include epistemology, the ethics of belief, intellectual history, and religious pluralism.  He regularly teaches Philosophy of Religion, Introduction to Philosophy, Applied Ethics, World Religions, Western Religious Traditions, and Religion in America.

The Declaration of Independence famously states “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This claim relates human rights and equality to the role of the Creator. As such it is affirming a relationship between human origins and human nature. This talk will look at some of the influence this has had on American thought, including religious freedom and state established religion.

Bring your brown bag lunch and enjoy this free event. For more information contact Dan Stanton at or 480-965-1798

Study Aids for You: Print & Online

Online Study Skills Materials
The Ross-Blakley Law Library is pleased to provide you with online access to hundreds of study aids to help you prepare for classes and exams. Whether you are a returning student or it is your first year in law school, you will find study aids for virtually every course you will take. All these titles are available for online viewing 24/7 and you can highlight, take notes and even print.

Please note: The first time you go to access the Study Aids Subscription, you will need to create a West Academic account. Use this link to Sign in or Create an Account

Print Study Skills Materials
Not all study skills materials are online. To help you succeed in law school, the Ross-Blakley Law Library staff has created a print Study Skills Collection. Located in the Reserve Reading room on the first floor of the Law Library, the collection brings together an array of study aids, legal research and writing texts, exam, and bar exam materials.

Books in the Study Skills Collection may be checked out for two weeks and are renewable twice.  Flash Cards may be checked out for one week and are not renewable. Study Skills materials have a seven day grace period, and will be billed the replacement charge and overdue fee on the eighth day overdue.  If you have any questions about or suggestions for the print collection, please contact Leslie A. Pardo, Head of Access Services, (480) 965-3579.

Big Week at the Supreme Court


Quite a few significant Supreme Court opinions were announced this week, including two of the biggest cases from this term: same-sex marriage and Obamacare.

Read on for more information on each case from this week and links to the Court’s opinion.



Same-sex marriage – Obergefell v. Hodges
1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?
2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?

The Court ruled that states cannot ban same-sex marriage, and concluded the majority opinion with the following paragraph:

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

Obamacare – King v. Burwell
Whether the Internal Revenue Service may permissibly promulgate regulations to extend tax-credit subsidies to coverage purchased through exchanges established by the federal government under Section 1321 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The Court held that the tax credits are available to individuals living in states with their own health care exchanges as well as individuals living in the 34 states that have a federal exchange.

Other cases from this week

  • City of Los Angeles v. Patel
    Constitutionality of a Los Angeles Municipal Code ordinance which requires hotel operators to keep specific information about guests for 90 days and make it available to LAPD officers on demand.
  • Kingsley v. Hendrickson
    Whether proving an excessive force claim requires a pretrial detainee to show that officers are subjectively aware that their use of force was unreasonable.

For full coverage of these decisions and others, check out these websites:

The SCOTUSblog covers all aspects of the Supreme Court and provides both commentary and resources related to the Court including opinions, briefs, select petitions for certiorari, and news coverage of every merits case before the Court.

This website offers a variety of resources devoted to the Supreme Court including opinions, recordings of oral arguments, information about the individual justices, and more.

Racheal White Hawk ’16 and Glennas’ba Augborne ’16 Honored for Exemplary Student Research

The Ross-Blakley Law Library at the Sandra O’Connor College of Law is pleased to announce the 2015 recipients of The Ross-Blakley Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research. 

Racheal White Hawk is the first place award recipient for her paper, A New Formula for Tribal Internet Gaming and Glennas’ba Augborne earned second-place honors for The HEARTH Act: Implementing UN Indigenous Rights Norms to Reconcile the Limitations of Tribal Environmental Sovereignty. Their papers demonstrate sophistication and originality in the use of research materials, exceptional innovation in research strategy, and skillful synthesis of research results into a comprehensive scholarly analysis.

A review panel comprised of librarians Victoria Trotta and Beth DiFelice and Clinical Professor Kimberly Holst selected the winners from the very competitive entries.

In addition to receiving a monetary award, the winners are also invited to publish their papers in the Law Library’s digital scholarship repository and to feature their papers in the Law Library Display Case.

Congratulations to our 2015 Winners!