Today the US Senate voted 52-48 to end what has of late become the routine practice of filibustering high-level Presidential appointments.
Despite the hyperbole—the Huffington Post ran an article with a nuclear cloud detonation under the headlines, “Senate Detonation: Reid Nukes Filibuster“— this move has been considered for a few years now. Clearly, as the chart highlights, the use of the filibuster to block high-level executive appointments has accelerated under a Republican minority in the Senate.
Opinion is, of course, all over the proverbial map on this issue. Here are some recent articles to peruse so you can impress the folks back home with your legal prowess at the Holiday table next week:
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.’s famously unique way of phrasing just about everything is just one reason why you should consider browsing through the newly added electronic database ” Proquest History Vault: Law and Society since the Civil War: American Legal Manuscripts from the Harvard Law Library” by clicking HERE.
This database features 11 modules from the Harvard Law School Library including these notable selections: The papers of Supreme Court Justices Felix Frankfurter, Louis D. Brandeis and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. The papersof legal theorists’ Albert Levitt and Livingston Hall, Richard H. Field and Roscoe Pound and Sheldon Glueck as well as those of William H. Hastie (America’s first black Federal judge) and Zechariah Chafee Jr, the “dean of civil liberties scholarship” in the U.S.
It has a certain, je ne sais quoi, and is a powerful new online tool to consult when researching the laws of foreign jurisdictions….. The site allows searching across multiple countries and includes materials pulled from government websites as well as primary and secondary materials. There are even newspapers from many countries available.
Best feature? Everything can be translated out of the original source language into another language of your choosing and the translations, while not official, are enhanced by vLex to provide better legal translations than otherwise available with online translation sources.
(We do ask you to please close out of your session after using vLex to allow others to sign onto the database as our subscription is limited to a select number of open sessions. Thanks!)
September 17th is officially designated “Constitution and Citizenship Day.” The National Archives has compiled some interesting sites that allow us to explore this important document in interactive and engaging ways.
Have a look at some of these links and the mobile apps below:
And thanks to the American Bar Association for compiling the following list of civic-minded apps:
Anyone who has tried to do Massachusetts Legislative History Research knows it can be very challenging because the Commonwealth does not publish reports and other legislative documents for the general public. We have acquired a new database, InstaTrac, which is collecting these reports, starting in 2011. InstaTrac also allows users to track current legislation, and receive the Daily Journal and legislative news via email. These updates are an excellent way to stay up to date on the activities of the General Court.
In addition to this great content, InstaTrac also provides helpful tips on how to use the system. The database includes a document on How to Get the Most Out of Your MassTrac Service as well as a detailed Help section. If you have any questions about using InstaTrac, please contact a reference librarian.
Our newest addition, Art Law and Cultural Property offers the researcher two highly specialized databases:
“International Cultural Property Ownership and Export Legislation (ICPOEL) and Case Law and Statutes (CLS)—will help users navigate the increasingly complex and abundant body of legislation and case law regarding the acquisition and ownership of artworks.”
ICOPEL “contains legislation governing the export and ownership of cultural property from dozens of countries.” Its “links connect foreign legislation to relevant U.S. case law. There are also links to relevant international conventions and bilateral agreements. Also included is “Country Contacts,” information on the government official(s) in each country to whom a query regarding the legality of acquiring a work can be addressed.”
CLS ” contains an extensive body of primarily U.S. case law, including both litigated cases and, notably, hard-to-find, out-of-court settlements. The material is organized under eight topics: World War II-Era/Holocaust Related Art Loss; Cultural Property (Antiquities) Disputes Over Non-United States Property; United States Cultural Property; Art Theft (other than World War II and cultural property looting); Other Ownership Title Disputes/Claims Including Conversion and Breach of Contract; Art Fraud, Attribution, Authenticity, Forgery, Libel, and Defamatory Statements; Valuation/Appraisal; and Copyright, Moral Rights and Other Issues”
Check it out! (Extra-credit if you can name the repository of Modern Art shown above….)
Despite the name of this app, it has nothing to do with a 4th grade class where you learned the history of whatever state you grew up in. Lexis Social Studies attempts to bring you the best of Facebook, Google Drive, and LexisAdvance to help you organize your study group in one place.
How does it work? After signing away your Facebook rights (allowing Lexis to post statuses and go into your notifications), you are asked to provide your Google identifier to match up with your Google Drive account. From there, you can create your group: make it public or private, invite friends, etc. Once you have your group set up, you can create documents that are stored on Google Drive (and have all of that functionality). Additional features include the ability to create polls to determine the best time to meet and the ability to make comments on your group page.
Journals, think this would be a great place to put your source coordination documents? It may be in the future, but not just yet. PDF uploads are currently not supported. Right now, you are limited to files that can be reformatted as Google Docs.
One thing I could not figure out is how to delete a file after uploading it. I tried to delete it from Google Drive in my “Shared with Me” folder, but when you upload documents to the app, Lexis Social Studies is considered the author on Google Docs, not you, so that doesn’t work. There is an arrow at the end of the file on the group page, implying there should be a dropdown (and maybe that’s where delete is hiding), but right now it is not functioning.
Want to learn more about Lexis Social Studies? Check out the promotional video or get started creating your own group here.
Ali Delforoush (Law ’13) has recently published a fascinating and hard-hitting look at life inside Iran today. The story is rendered through moving and confronting personal stories and narratives that, while at times difficult to read, ultimately tell the story of the universality of hope under crushing oppression.
Click on the book cover to be taken to a recent BU Today article interviewing Ali.
(Please check with the Circulation Desk if you would like to borrow our copy.)
Were you dreaming of a clerkship instead of sugarplums over the holiday? Check out a couple of new titles we have on the judiciary:
- The Behavior of Federal Judges: A Theoretical and Empirical Study of Rational Choice (Annex KF 5130 .E46 2013)
- Young Thurgood: The Making of a Supreme Court Justice (Annex KF 8745 .M34 G55 2012
For our aspiring transactional lawyers, we have added The Three and a Half Minute Transaction: Boilerplate and the Limits of Contract Design (Annex K 845 .S7 G86 2012).
Check out brief descriptions of these books and more on the Featured New Books page.
The featured books for December include three titles from our faculty: The Ponzi Scheme Puzzle by Tamar Frankel, Laws of Creation: Property Rights in the World of Ideas by Ronald Cass and Keith N. Hylton, and Ordered Liberty: Rights, Responsibilities, and Virtues by James Fleming and Linda McClain. There are also interesting titles on the economics of inequality and same-sex marriage. All of these books can be checked out at the Annex.