Library

Today in Legal History: Volstead Act Passed

The Volstead Act, more popularly known as prohibition, was passed on October 28, 1919.  It was named after Andrew Volstead, the congressman who sponsored the legislation. While at first bans on alcohol were attempted on a state level, it soon became a national movement.

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Today in Legal History: Congress Probes Communism in Hollywood, October 20, 1947

“Are you now, or have you ever been, a Communist?”  Joe McCarthy’s crusade to stamp out communism reached Hollywood when film industry members were called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities to testify about communism in the movies.  Ten writers and directors (later known as the Hollywood Ten) refused to testify on the ground that the hearings were illegal and violated their first amendment rights.  Although several of the Hollywood Ten were able to continue working under pseudonyms, or through friends who would take credit, their ability to work was severely curtailed.

More information is available at:
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-red-scare-comes-to-hollywood
http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9040813/Hollywood-Ten
• The Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute, The Legal Struggle to Abolish the House Committee on Un-American Activities: the Papers of Jeremiah Gutman, 4th Floor – KF4997.I48 M44
• Carl Beck, Contempt of Congress: a Study of the Prosecutions Initiated by the Committee on Un-American Activities, 1945-1957, 4th Floor – KF9405.B4 1974


 

Cell Phone Use

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The library staff understands that your connection to family, friends, and employers is vital when you are at school, but we also ask that you be courteous to your classmates and set your cell phones to vibrate or at the lowest setting while you are in the library.  If you need to take a phone call, please conduct cell phone conversations outside the library.  Talking in the stairwells is particularly troublesome as voices carry throughout all the floors.


 

Today in Legal History: Women Get the Vote in Wyoming

On September 30, 1889, the Wyoming legislature approved its state constitution with a provision giving women the right to vote (Wyoming was admitted to the union in 1890). Before becoming a state, Wyoming had been the first territory to give women the right to vote in 1869, followed by the Utah Territory in 1870 and the Washington Territory in 1883 (Washington’s Supreme Court later found that legislation unconstitutional). Washington’s Territorial Legislature had actually introduced the first women’s suffrage bill in 1848, but that bill was narrowly defeated.

While most of the activism for women’s suffrage was on the east coast, the western states were far more responsive to passing laws to enfranchise women. By 1914, most of the western states had given women voting rights while Kansas was the only state east of the Rockies to do so. In 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified, giving all female American citizens the right to vote.

To find out more see:
• Suzanne M. Marilley, Woman Suffrage and the Origins of Liberal Feminism in the United States, 1820-1920 (Harvard U. Press 1996) LAW-Culp Collection (3rd Floor-Range 3A) JK1896.M37 1996
• Ellen Carol DuBois, Woman Suffrage and Women’s Rights (NYU Press 1998) LAW-Culp Collection (3rd Floor-Range 3A) HQ1236.5.U6D83 1998
• Anne Firor Scott, One Half the People: The Fight for Woman Suffrage (U. Illinois Press 1982) LAW-Culp Collection (3rd Floor-Range 3A) JK1896.S36 1982
• Eleanor Flexner, Century of Struggle: The Woman’s Rights Movement in the United States (Harvard U. Press 1996) LAW-3rd Floor HQ1410.F6 1996


 

Featured Database: Versus Law

Like Westlaw and Lexis, Versus Law provides an excellent source of information for researchers interested in looking for information on primary sources of law. Versus Law covers appellate cases, statutes and administrative regulations at both the state and federal levels. Additionally, the database covers Federal District Court cases from 1950 to the present. Finally, Versus Law includes a collection of tribal cases from selected tribes located throughout the United States.

Unlike Westlaw or Lexis, Versus Law does not include any annotations in the cases or statutes. While there is no editorial commentary, Versus Law does provide the full text of opinions and statutes, including footnotes.

Information is very easy to access on Versus Law. Researchers can begin by simply clicking on the search tab and then clicking on the type of information that they are looking for. Versus Law allows researchers to search through primary materials by entering terms into a search engine. Additionally, Versus Law allows researchers to search by citation.

Versus Law is a great place to start for researchers without access to Westlaw or Lexis due to cost issues. Full access to all of the databases on Versus Law costs much less than either Westlaw or Lexis. Thus, it is an excellent source for researchers on a budget.


 

Featured Database: The Making of Modern Law

The Making of Modern Law database contains scanned images of over 22,000 legal treatises on British and American law published between 1800 and 1922.  Check out this great historical resource on the library database page.


 

Journal Staff Legal Research Guide

Conducting a Source and Cite Check for a Journal?  Check out the library’s guide for journal staff.  It answers general questions about choosing a topic, preemption checks, locating and borrowing materials, and cite and source checking.


 

Library Tours

Third Floor
What does the law library offer to students? Take a short tour and find out! Tours will last about 30 minutes and will introduce you to our study aids, online and print materials, Document Delivery Center, and lots more. Tours meet at the reference desk inside the library, and are led by a reference librarian. Sign up online today!


 

US Legal System

It’s a little more than just being a bill sitting up here on Capitol Hill; this research guide by Kelly Kunsch is useful for new students or people with a burning interest in Constitutional law, as well as a comparative reference for the differences between state and Federal legal systems as well as Indian legal systems within their respective Nations.


 

Finding Study Aids

Need an overview of a particular area of law or to clarify a particular legal concept?  The law library purchases the following study aid series:

  • West Hornbooks
  • West Nutshells
  • Examples and Explanations
  • Gilbert Law Summaries
  • Emanuel Law Outlines

Current study aids are located in the Reserve collection.  Check the online catalog for specific titles  Study aids are available for 2-hour check out and selected “starred” copies can be checked out for 24 hours.  “Starred” books cannot be renewed.  Fines will accrue for late items at the rate of $1 per hour. If you would like to check out a study aid for 6 weeks, selected copies of older editions of these study aids are located in the Treatise collection for checkout.

The law library is pleased to provide students with this collection.  We hope that students will take care to maintain the collection for the benefit of everyone.  Remember, study aids are just that: aids to your regular study.  They are not a substitute for attending class and reading required material!