Check it Out: Bread and Roses

Bread and Roses is a film about the struggle of janitorial workers in Los Angeles, and their fight for better pay, better working conditions, and the right to unionize. Adrien Brody plays Sam Shapiro, a lawyer who helps two immigrant sisters from Mexico, Maya (Pilar Padilla) and Rosa (Elpidia Carrillo), fight for their rights as workers in the United States.

Who is Paying Taxes and How Much?

There are many claims about who is paying taxes and how much they pay.  As far as individuals and federal income tax, you can look at the statistics yourself. You can sort by state, tax rate and other characteristics.  Judge for yourself rather than relying on the talking heads at Fox News or the Huffington Post.

Listen to the Oral Arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry

Listen to the Oral Arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry

Today the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8. In recognition of the high public interest in this case, the Court released the audio of the arguments almost immediately. Find them on CSPAN.

The U.S. and the International Criminal Court

Jen Trahan blogged recently on Opinio Juris that three statements made by the former U.S. Department of State Legal Advisor Harold Koh, prior to leaving office in December, 2012, could signal a return to signatory status for the United States with respect to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. At separate appearances at NYU, the University of Leiden, and the New York City Bar Association, Koh clearly stated that the U.S. respected the “object and purpose” of the treaty. Under normal circumstances this would place the United States in conformance with article 18 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties on the obligations of treaty signatories. Whether Koh’s oral statements would trump the written note sent by John Bolton to the UN in 2002, withdrawing U.S. intent to become a party, is still in question.

No evening reference 3/26

Due to illness, there will be no evening reference tonight (Tuesday, March 26, 2013). Reference will be available today until 4:30pm and will resume tomorrow at 8:30. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Preemption Check

This guide shows you how to do preemption checks on your potential law review articles, or major scholarly writings which you might be doing for an independent study. A preemption check is much more than just Shepardizing, and this guide tells you how to do it yourself and do it right the first time.

Today in Legal History: Beer & Wine Revenue Act Signed

The Beer & Wine Revenue Act was signed by Franklin Roosevelt on March 22, 1933.  No fan of prohibition, President Roosevelt signed the Act in order to levy a federal tax on alcoholic beverages to raise federal revenue to get our nation out of the Great Depression.  Later that year, in December 1933, the 21st Amendment ending Prohibition, was enacted.

More information is available at:

Check it Out: Death and the Maiden

Directed by Roman Polanski, Death and the Maiden is set in a South American country where Paulina Escobar (Sigourney Weaver) was kidnapped and tortured by the government. The sadistic doctor who tortured her turns up at her house 15 years later, and Paulina wants to make him pay for his actions. But Paulina never saw her torturer – she only heard his voice – so how can she be positive she has the right man?

Continued Immunity for The Pope Emeritus?

It is reported that as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will discontinue sporting his red shoes by Adriano Stefanelli and the mozetta or elbow-length white cape. Also on the list of discontinued items will be his Head of State immunity. In the future, the Pope Emeritus might have a harder time fighting off claims that he assisted priests and other clergy in covering up allegations of child sexual abuse while head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith under his pre-papal moniker, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. See the reasoning used by the court in Doe v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Galveston-Houston, 408 F.Supp 2d 272 as to immunity. Could he be extradited? No, the Vatican does not have an extradition treaty with any other state including Italy.

New and Notable: Alaska Natives and American Laws

Alaska Natives and American Laws by David S. Case and David A. Voluck.
Call Number: LAW-New Books  KFA1705.C37 2012.

While the practice of tribal or federal Indian law presents its own challenges, the law governing Alaska’s first peoples has its own unique complexities. Many of these are addressed in the new edition of what has become a classic work on the subject by Case and Voluck. As the publisher states, “… Alaska Natives and American Laws is still the only work of its kind, canvassing federal law and its history as applied to the indigenous peoples of Alaska. Covering 1867 through 2011, the authors offer lucid explanations of the often-tangled history of policy and law as applied to Alaska’s first peoples. Divided conceptually into four broad themes of indigenous rights to land, subsistence, services, and sovereignty, the book offers a thorough and balanced analysis of the evolution of these rights in the forty-ninth state.”