Two new federal government websites are making it easier to find government information online. One of the new websites is Congress.gov, which is in an initial beta version. This website currently contains legislation from 2001 to the present and congressional member profiles from 1973 to the present. Congress.gov will replace the Library of Congress’s THOMAS.gov website by the end of 2014 and will incorporate all of the information available on THOMAS.gov. You can read more about Congress.gov and THOMAS.gov here.
The other new website is eCFR.gov. This website contains a current, daily updated version of the Code of Federal Regulations. It replaces eCFR.gopaccess.gov and operates on an upgraded software and hardware platform, providing an interface that is similar to other Federal Register publications on FDsys (the Federal Digital System).
If you are looking for government information, also check out the Law Library’s research guides on the subject: Federal Legislation and Statutes, Federal Bills and Proposed Legislation, and Federal Regulations.
If you’re planning to vote in this year’s elections, now is the time to make sure you are registered, as tomorrow, October 9, is the last day to register to vote in Arizona. To register, go to the Voter Registration and Education page from the Arizona Secretary of State, Tom Horne.
Once you have registered check out Arizona’s page at Vote411.org for a list of such information as what ID is necessary for identification at the voting booth, the requirements for time off to vote, upcoming debates and forums, provisions for voters with disabilities, and more.
For those curious about ballot measures, the League of Women Voters of Arizona have put up a voter guide here, including summaries of each proposition, arguments for and against, and a list of supporters and opponents of each issue.
Not an Arizona voter? No problem. You can simply enter your voting address in the side form of Vote411.org or scroll down and choose your state to find out about voting there.
After seven years of litigation, Google and the Association of American Publishers announced a settlement yesterday which will allow publishers to choose whether Google digitizes their copyrighted but out-of-print publications. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but settlement language dictates that 20% of content from books that Google has already digitized will be readable online with the entire book available for purchase from Google Play, and Google will share revenue with book publishers.
This settlement does not resolve the litigation between Google and authors, however – the Author’s Guild published a press release yesterday, confirming that the “authors’ class action continues.” Nor does the settlement answer the question of whether Google is infringing copyright by digitizing books, which is really the main issue in the litigation.
You can read more about the litigation on the Association of Research Libraries website, which offers a four-part series on the Google Library Project: Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV.
Were you surprised by the United States Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Health Care Act? Does it make you curious about the sort of cases they’re going to be looking at and how they may vote in the upcoming year? If so, here are a few articles that take a look at the most well-known cases that will come to court:
Above the Law: A Preview of the upcoming Supreme Court Term (OT 2012)
New York Times: Supreme Court Faces Weighty Cases and a New Dynamic
Thompson-Reuters: Affirmitive Action, Rights Cases Await U.S. Supreme Court
If you want more in-depth information about where the Supreme Court is headed and what’s current, check out the SCOTUS Blog at http://www.scotusblog.com.
The Supreme Court’s decision in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, was issued this morning. While news coverage of the decision has been extensive, we want to point out a particularly interesting resource you can use to learn more about the Supreme Court’s opinion: the Interactive Health Care Ruling feature on NPR’s website. This interactive version of the Court’s opinion enables you to easily navigate to specific portions of the opinion and the dissent, and read annotations from SCOTUSblog staff. The Interactive Health Care Ruling feature will be updated throughout the day.
The Arizona Bar Association is hosting a free “Rule of Law Reform in a World of Conflict” CLE at the upcoming State Bar Convention. The CLE will feature a panel of lawyers exploring the role of law in the reconstruction of Iraq and Kosovo. A presentation will be given by the Honorable Medhat al-Mahmoud, the Chief Justice of Iraq, as well as by Tom Monaghan, a Nebraska judge who led legal reform projects in Kosovo. Dean Sylvester will introduce the panel and Professor Daniel Rothenberg will moderate.
When: Friday, June 22nd, 2-4pm
Where: Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa
Who: This program is open to both registered attendees and lawyers who will not be attending the convention
This year’s Law Day theme is “No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom,” and according to the Presidential Proclamation, “recalls the historic role our courts have played in protecting the fundamental rights and liberties of all Americans. Our courts are the guarantors of civil justice, social order, and public safety, and we must do everything we can to enable their critical work. The courthouse doors must be open and the necessary services must be in place to allow all litigants, judges, and juries to operate efficiently. Likewise, we must ensure that access to justice is not an abstract theory, but a concrete commitment that delivers the promise of counsel and assistance for all who seek it.”
President Dwight D. Eisenhower established Law Day in 1958 for the people of the United States to appreciate their liberties and reaffirm their national loyalty. It is celebrated every May 1st, and observance of the day was codified at 36 U.S.C. § 113 in 1961.
If you are interested in reading more about Law Day, the Library of Congress has a Law Day Research Guide which provides an overview of the day, links to past Presidential Proclamations (1958 – 2011), and lists research sources. You can also find more information and resources for celebrating Law Day on the ABA’s website.
If English Law or English Legal History is among your interests, you may want to check out this amusing article from the South Devon Western Morning News detailing a few of the quirky old laws that are on the books there, and their current questionable status. Some such old laws, dating from the 16th century and earlier, are the target of a repeals bill, intended to “[rid] the statute book of meaningless provisions from days days gone by and [make] sure [the] laws are relevant to the modern world,” according to the chairman of the Law Commission for England and Wales, Sir James Munby.
It’s been 29 years since he last argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, but he still has it. Martinez v. Ryan, the case that Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Professor Bob Bartels argued on October 4, 2011 before the nine Justices, was decided in late March in favor of Bartels’ client Luis Mariano Martinez. The case had made it all the way through the court system without a judge voting in favor of Martinez until it reached the Supreme Court.
You can read more about Martinez v. Ryan, look at merit and amicus briefs, and access lower court opinions on the SCOTUS Blog. You can also listen to audio of the oral argument on the Oyez Project website.
Both the SCOTUS Blog and Oyez Project are excellent sources of information on Supreme Court cases, but there are a number of other resources available to you both online and in the Law Library collection. We have compiled the best of these resources in our Supreme Court Research Guide, which details where to find court opinions, attorney briefs, oral argument transcripts and audio files, petitions for certiorari, and Supreme Court news. Be sure to reference this Guide before starting on future Supreme Court research.
Hat tip to ASU News.
The 16th annual Pedrick Lecture is being delivered by Senator Jon Kyle in the Great Hall of the College of Law this evening. Senator Kyle will be speaking on “American Sovereignty and Transnational Law,” and will discuss how non-ratified international treaties and agreements are circumventing domestic laws.
The Pedrick Lecture is one of the College of Law’s signature events, and all members of the law school community are invited. If you are interested in international law, be sure to attend, and also consider checking out one of the following new books on international law in the Law Library collection:
Shaping Foreign Policy in Times of Crisis: The Role of International Law and the State Department Legal Adviser
Law Treatises KF4581 .S33 2010
The Confluence of Public and Private International Law: Justice, Pluralism and Subsidiary in the International Constitutional Ordering of Private Law
Law Treatises K7040 .M55 2009
The Problem of Enforcement in International Law: Countermeasures, the Non-Injured State, and the Idea of International Community
Law Foreign & International KZ6362 .K38 2010