Library

Fashion and the Law: An Exhibit

Harvard Law Librarians have curated a fun and thought provoking exhibit about the intersection of fashion and law. The exhibit begins by discussing sumptuary laws from ancient Greece and
Rome, and moves forward in time to the present. What Not to Wear: Fashion and the Law, curated by Mindy Kent, Meg Kribble, and Carli Spina, is on view in the HLS Library through August 12, 2016. Highlights may also be viewed online.


 

Washington’s “Legislatively Recognized Days”

Everyone knows the major holidays observed by the country (and consequently the state). However, Washington’s Legislature has created a list of “legislatively recognized days.” They are listed below. And sorry, the statute specifically states they “may not be considered legal holidays for any purpose.” So no time off. Here are the dates and days (RCW 1.16.050):

(a) The thirteenth day of January, recognized as Korean-­American day;

(b) The twelfth day of October, recognized as Columbus day;

(c) The ninth day of April, recognized as former prisoner of war recognition day;

(d) The twenty­-sixth day of January, recognized as Washington army and air national guard day;

(e) The seventh day of August, recognized as purple heart recipient recognition day;

(f) The second Sunday in October, recognized as Washington state children’s day;

(g) The sixteenth day of April, recognized as Mother Joseph day;

(h) The fourth day of September, recognized as Marcus Whitman day;

(i) The seventh day of December, recognized as Pearl Harbor remembrance day;

(j) The twenty-­seventh day of July, recognized as national Korean war veterans armistice day;

(k) The nineteenth day of February, recognized as civil liberties day of remembrance;

(l) The nineteenth day of June, recognized as Juneteenth, a day of remembrance for the day the slaves learned of their freedom; and

(m) The thirtieth day of March, recognized as welcome home Vietnam veterans day.


 

Merrick Garland Nomination

President Obama has nominated Judge Merrick Garland to be the next Supreme Court Justice. But who is Judge Garland? Currently, he is Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He also enjoys skiing and canoeing–according to the White House site on his nomination. The site also discusses the nomination and confirmation processes. Obviously, the White House has a particular viewpoint on this nominee and the process so keep that in mind if you decide to learn more about them–as you should when evaluating any resource.


 

Dr. Carla Hayden, the Next Librarian of Congress?

President Obama nominated Dr. Carla Hayden to be our next Librarian of Congress. If the Senate consents she will be the first female Librarian of Congress, a post which hasn’t been filled by a professional trained librarian in many years.  Dr. Hayden’s nomination has been supported by more than 140 Libraries and Non-Profits. On April 20, she gave her opening statement to Congress, “Of all the titles I’ve had in my professional career I’m most proud to be called a librarian.” Watch the complete hearing here: http://cs.pn/240aL5p. The acting Librarian of Congress is David Mao, a lawyer and librarian by training who held the post Law Librarian of Congress.


 

April is Poetry Month!

Ven-Fuel was convicted of fraudulent acts,
By the Trial Court’s finding of adequate facts.
We think it likely that fraud took place,
But Materiality was not shown in this case.
So while the Government will no doubt be annoyed,
We declare the conviction null and void.

U.S. v. Ven-Fuel, Inc., 602 F.2d 747, 748 (C.A.Fla., 1979). Written by Judge John R. Brown.
Ven-Fuel had been convicted of importing fuel oil under an import license obtained by fraudulent statements, but the appellate court found the statements not material. The entire poem is 14 lines, and an elegant summary of the case.


 

April is Poetry Month! Part 2

In our last blog post we celebrated Poetry Month with a poem from Fisher v. Lowe, 122 Mich.Ct. App. 418 (1983). Here’s an Easter Egg: Westlaw, in its summary of the case, responded with a poem of their own:

A wayward Chevy struck a tree
Whose owner sued defendants three.
He sued car’s owner, driver too,
And insurer for what was due
For his oak tree that now may bear

A lasting need for tender care.

The Oakland County Circuit Court,
John N. O’Brien, J., set forth
The judgment that defendants sought

And quickly an appeal was brought.

Court of Appeals, J.H. Gillis, J.,
Gave thought and then had this to say:
1) There is no liability
Since No-Fault grants immunity;
2) No jurisdiction can be found
Where process service is unsound;
And thus the judgment, as it’s termed,

Is due to be, and is,

Affirmed.

 

April is Poetry Month!

We thought that we would never see
A suit to compensate a tree.
A suit whose claim in tort is prest
Upon a mangled tree’s behest;
A tree whose battered trunk was prest
Against a Chevy’s crumpled crest;
A tree that faces each new day
With bark and limb in disarray;
A tree that may forever bear
A lasting need for tender care.
Flora lovers though we three,
We must uphold the court’s decree.
Affirmed.

Fisher v Lowe, 122 Mich.Ct. App. 418, 419, 333 N.W.2d 67 (1983), written by J. H. Gillis for a three judge panel. The trial court had granted summary judgment for the defendant.

If the poem sounds familiar, it is based on Joyce Kilmer’s Trees.


 

Judicial Appointments eBooks at SU

With President Obama’s recent Supreme Court nomination, judicial appointments have been in the news. If you’re interested in learning more about judicial appointments from the comfort of your home, check out these eBooks from Seattle University’s Library:

Two-Fer Electing a President and a Supreme Court by Clint Bolick (2012)

Available at: ebrary Academic Complete. Publisher’s Description:

Constitutional scholar Clint Bolick examines the importance of judicial nominations in current and future political campaigns—not just in campaigns for president but also for the senators who confirm the nominees and the governors who appoint state court judges. He offers his opinion of the framers’ original intentions—that the judiciary play a robust role in curbing abuses of government power and protecting individual rights—and provides both a historical perspective and a look at the courts’ decisions on today’s most contentious issues.

Court Nominations Issues in Nomination and Confirmation by Peter C. Kesterhoff (2009)

Available at: ebrary Academic Complete. Publisher’s Description:

This new book sheds light on whether Senate processing of lower court nominations, particularly to the courts of appeals, has tended over recent decades to slow down in presidential election years. The report begins by reviewing recent debate, and historical events dating back to 1980, concerning whether the Senate and its Judiciary Committee customarily observe a practice referred to as the “Thurmond rule.” Next, the report provides narratives on each presidential election year from 1980 to 2004, reviewing Senate and committee actions taken on court of appeals and district court nominations in each of the years. The book then compares these years quantitatively, examining the number and percent of nominations processed and the last dates of committee and Senate action taken. Findings include the following: Senators of both parties at different times have spoken of their expectations of a drop-off in processing of judicial nominations occurring earlier in presidential election years than in other years. However, there is no written Senate or Judiciary Committee rule — nor was any bipartisan agreement reached during the 1980-2004 period — concerning judicial nominations in presidential election years.

Advice and Dissent The Struggle to Shape the Federal Judiciary by Sarah A. Binder & Forrest Maltzman (2009)

Available at: ebrary Academic Complete. Publisher’s Description:

For better or worse, federal judges in the United States today are asked to resolve some of the nation’s most important and contentious public policy issues. Although some hold onto the notion that federal judges are simply neutral arbiters of complex legal questions, the justices who serve on the Supreme Court and the judges who sit on the lower federal bench are in fact crafters of public law. In recent years, for example, the Supreme Court has bolstered the rights of immigrants, endorsed the constitutionality of school vouchers, struck down Washington D.C.’s blanket ban on handgun ownership, and most famously, determined the outcome of the 2000 presidential election. The judiciary now is an active partner in the making of public policy.

Advice and Consent : The Politics of Judicial Appointments by Lee Epstein & Jeffrey A. Segal (2005)

Available at: ebrary Academic Complete. Publisher’s Description:

From Louis Brandeis to Robert Bork to Clarence Thomas, the nomination of federal judges has generated intense political conflict. With the coming retirement of one or more Supreme Court Justices–and threats to filibuster lower court judges–the selection process is likely to be, once again, the center of red-hot partisan debate. In Advice and Consent, two leading legal scholars, Lee Epstein and Jeffrey A. Segal, offer a brief, illuminating Baedeker to this highly important procedure, discussing everything from constitutional background, to crucial differences in the nomination of judges and justices, to the role of the Judiciary Committee in vetting nominees. Epstein and Segal shed light on the role played by the media, by the American Bar Association, and by special interest groups (whose efforts helped defeat Judge Bork). Though it is often assumed that political clashes over nominees are a new phenomenon, the authors argue that the appointment of justices and judges has always been a highly contentious process–one largely driven by ideological and partisan concerns. The reader discovers how presidents and the senate have tried to remake the bench, ranging from FDRs controversial court packing scheme to the Senates creation in 1978 of 35 new appellate and 117 district court judgeships, allowing the Democrats to shape the judiciary for years. The authors conclude with possible reforms, from the so-called nuclear option, whereby a majority of the Senate could vote to prohibit filibusters, to the even more dramatic suggestion that Congress eliminate a judges life tenure either by term limits or compulsory retirement. With key appointments looming on the horizon, Advice and Consent provides everything concerned citizens need to know to understand the partisan rows that surround the judicial nominating process.

Check out this handy guide for information on how to use eBooks at SU.


 

Hacking the Law

Read about one lawyer’s path from government attorney to legal hacker in Innovate by Embracing Your Inner (and Outer) Hackers. This is one way to promote access to justice – ability to code is optional.


 

The Dangers of Innovation

Read about the MIT students who were investigated by the New Jersey Attorney General for their student project. The university was unable to provide legal assistance to the students while they faced legal challenges for months. As a result, a new conference on the Freedom to Innovate will be held at MIT in October.