Category Archives: National & International

First Monday in October

The Supreme Court’s 2021-2022 term begins today, the “first Monday in October” as laid out in 28 U.S.C. § 2. There are some changes coming to the way arguments will be held this year – while the Supreme Court building remains closed to the public in response to the coronavirus pandemic, oral arguments will resume inside the courtroom. The Court will continue a practice that started during the pandemic, however, in which the justices have an opportunity to ask questions of an attorney in order of seniority; the traditional question free-for-all will still be in place as well. You can read about these changes in the Court’s Guide for Counsel in Cases to be Argued before the Supreme Court of the United States.

If you are interested in previewing what is likely going to be a controversial term, take a look at the American Bar Association’s Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases for the October 2021 term on HeinOnline (ASURITE required).

Oyez is another resource for information on cases that will be heard in the 2021-2022 term. Each case entry includes a summary of the facts and the questions(s) presented before the Court. SCOTUSblog likewise provides excellent coverage of upcoming Supreme Court cases, and links to PDF copies of case filings when available.

For more information on the Supreme Court, including resources for accessing Court dockets, briefs, cert petitions, oral arguments, and more, check out the Law Library’s Supreme Court research guide.

DACA Resource Guide

The Ross-Blakley Law Library’s DACA Resource Guide has been updated. It provides general information and links to resources about DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and is maintained by reference librarians at the ASU College of Law. The guide includes information on the history of DACA, recent DACA developments, ASU resources for students, a list of local agencies offering DACA assistance, and a list of national advocacy groups. You can view the guide by clicking on the link below.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) LibGuide

Free Digital Subscription to the New York Times

NYTASU Students, faculty and staff can sign-up for a digital subscription to the New York Times for freeThe New York Times reports on a wide range of topics which makes it a powerful resource for academic research. Your free subscription includes access to the NYT archives dating back to 1851. In addition to the current news and archive features, NYT offers other apps such as cooking, virtual reality, real-estate, podcasts, and more.

This is a valuable resource provided by Arizona State University. Please use the link below to create an account. You must be logged into your My ASU to redeem the free access.

www.nyt.com/ASU

Problems: Ask a Librarian

Celebrate Constitution Day with the New Constitution Annotated

Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787.  To celebrate this year’s Constitution Day, the Law Library of Congress is launching the new online Constitution Annotated. Prepared by the American Law Division of the Congressional Research Service, it provides a comprehensive overview of how the Constitution has been interpreted over time. The website brings the Constitution Annotated into the 21st century with Boolean search capabilities, case law links, browse navigation and related resources. The new Constitution Annotated is not only a historical record but also an analysis of current constitutional understandings.

The new website is a great example of the Library’s mission to put users first, says Carla Haden, Librarian of Congress. It maximizes public access to the Constitution Annotated and, through it, to the Library’s expansive collections: now people across the country can access and use the same resources that are available to Members of Congress.

Happy Constitution Day!

Image result for constitution

 

Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports now freely available online

CRS

The Library of Congress announced today that it is providing Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports to the public. CRS reports are analytical, non-partisan reports produced by the Congressional Research Service, a division of the Library of Congress, for members of Congress.  They are excellent tools for legal researchers as they provide authoritative and objective information on topics of legislative interest. Providing public access to the CRS reports is a big policy shift, as in the past reports were only available to the public when released by a member of Congress.

This policy change was directed by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, which requires that the Library of Congress make CRS reports publicly available online. The result is a new public website crsreports.congress.gov, which allows reports to be searched by keyword. This website will include all new or updated CRS reports; the Library will add previously published reports “as expeditiously as possible.”

Free Access to PACER Opinions and Orders via CourtListener.com

A new resource for free access to federal court opinions and orders is now available online at CourtListener.com. This resource, known as the RECAP Archive, allows users to search approximately 3.4 million orders and opinions from approximately 1.5 million federal district and bankruptcy court cases dating back to 1960. New opinions are downloaded in to the Archive every night to keep the collection up to date.

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
Issues:
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?

Holding:
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
Issue:
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.

Holding:
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:

SCOTUSblog
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.

Oyez
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.

Economic and Banking Data from FRASER

Have you heard of FRASER?  The Federal Reserve Archival System for Economic Research is a data preservation and accessibility project of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and the U.S. Government Publishing Office.  The website provides access to a variety of resources containing economic and banking data, including:

  • Publications of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Publications of District Federal Reserve Banks
  • Statements and speeches of Federal Reserve policymakers
  • Archival materials of Federal Reserve policymakers
  • Economic data publications
  • Statistical releases
  • Congressional documents
  • Books
  • Reports by various organizations

You can browse resource by title and date, as well as perform keyword searches.  To learn how to fully utilize FRASER, read through the website’s How to Use FRASER page.

Free ABA Membership for Law Students

ABA law student divisionThe American Bar Association announced on Monday that it now provides free membership to law students attending ABA-approved schools.  The benefits of ABA membership are numerous and include access to ABA publications, the ABA Job Board, continuing legal education (CLE) courses, and member discounts.  To join, enroll online at http://www.americanbar.org/abalawstudents or call the ABA Service Center at 800-285-2221.

New Federal Courts app

Need a way to consult the Federal Rules of Evidence without having to lug around the print rules?  How about on-the-go access to federal cases and dockets?  Or directions to the federal courthouse that you will be appearing in later today?  The newly updated Federal Courts app can provide you with all of this, and more.  The  app now provides the full text of all the federal rules of procedure (civil, criminal, appellate, bankruptcy, and evidence rules) as well as the local rules for every federal court in the country, including district, bankruptcy, and appellate courts.  The app also offers access to PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records), which allows users to obtain case and docket information for federal courts.  In addition, the app provides turn-by-turn directions to any federal courthouse.  It’s a great tool for students and practitioners alike.

The app is available for iPhone and iPad and can be downloaded from iTunes.