April 8, 2006
IRC Podcasting is Underway
Tax Prof Jack Bogdanski has announced his intention to podcast the entire Internal Revenue Code. Mrs. Bogdanski has announced her intention to to sue Apple for unintentional inflection of spousal insanity.
Hat tip to TaxProf Blog.
Lewis "Scooter" Libby's testimony
The Smoking Gun has posted the details of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's testimony were included in a court filing made by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald.
Check it out.
Ron Jones, University of Cincinnati
Time to File for a Tax Extension?
Only about one week left so it must be time to file your federal and state tax extensions. Tax Extension 1.0 is a little app that asks a couple of questions pertaining to your tax returns. Remember, first extensions must be filed before April 17th.
April 7, 2006
Immigration Reform Deal?
According to the New York Times today, maybe not. See Senate Deal on Immigration Falters. Stay turned to Google News for the latest updates.
UPDATE: The Senate adjourned for Spring Break without voting on the bipartisan compromise immigration reform bill.
Recap of Immigration Reform Posts
There are times when working on this blog I take on the role of reference librarian for the interested public, viewing high profile issues of the day as the source of information requests. Presumptuous, I know, because basically I just seek out resources and recent information that I find interesting (and hope others find useful).
Immigration reform is one such high profile issue. Here are the posts Ron Jones and I published on the topic this week:
Survey of State Legislation Related to Immigrants
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that, as of February 28, 2006, state legislators in 42 states had introduced 368 bills related to immigration or immigrants. Here is the report (pdf).
Ron Jones, University of Cincinnati Law Library
New Homeland Security Titles Available from the Brookings Bookstore
Recent publications include:
- Protecting What Matters: Technology, Security, and Liberty since 9/11
- Protecting the Homeland 2006/2007
- The Forgotten Homeland: A Century Foundation Task Force Report
- Fighting Terrorist Financing: Transatlantic Cooperation and International Institutions
Protecting What Matters
Technology, Security, and Liberty since 9/11
Clayton Northouse, ed. Foreword by Ramon Barquin and Jane Fishkin
Brookings Institution Press and the Computer Ethics Institute 2005
Cloth Text, 0-8157-6126-0, $46.95
Paper Text, 0-8157-6125-2, $18.95
Description: September 11 dramatically changed how America looks at the world, both within and outside its own borders. In addition to spurring military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, the terrorist attacks led to changes in several policy areas. Many of these initiatives, such as the PATRIOT Act and the Defense Department’s Total Information Awareness program, generated serious and often rancorous debate over the most basic tenets of American government. Can the United States improve its national security without seriously weakening its cherished civil liberties? And how does the availability of enhanced technology affect that delicate balance? In Protecting What Matters, leading figures from government, public policy, and the private sector analyze the critical relationships among security, freedom, and technology in a changed nation.
The terrorists left numerous clues about their intentions—two of the hijackers even appeared on government watch lists. Could more sophisticated information technology have helped authorities thwart the hijackers, and would enhanced surveillance using the Internet help prevent future attacks? Legal, political, and ethical concerns limit surveillance and intelligence gathering. How much is too much?
The contributors to Protecting What Matters address the most critical issues surrounding the relationship of security, technology, and liberty, beginning with the historical and public-opinion parameters of the debate. They go on to analyze how the intelligence community must reconfigure itself and the role that technology can play in combating terrorism, suggesting ways in which technology can protect the homeland without threatening civil liberties. Finally, several authoritative analysts focus on the key legal issues at the intersection of liberty and security, including the proper role of technology. Senator Russ Feingold presents his objections to the PATRIOT Act, the most controversial law to emerge from this debate, while his colleague, Senator Jon Kyl, provides a spirited defense.
Protecting the Homeland 2006/2007
Michael d'Arcy, Michael O'Hanlon, Peter Orszag, Jeremy Shapiro, and James Steinberg
Brookings Institution Press 2006
Paper Text, 0-8157-6459-6, $22.95
Description: Immediately after September 11, the Brookings Institution began a comprehensive, multidisciplinary project focused on the key policy challenge of these dangerous times—assessing and improving homeland defense. That intense effort produced Protecting the American Homeland, and it continues in this important new book.
In Protecting the Homeland 2006/2007, Brookings foreign policy experts analyze current homeland security concerns and the adequacy (or inadequacy) of current policies designed to address them. The authors present both the big picture and the smaller components of homeland security policy that make up the whole. They make specific recommendations on intelligence reform, science and technology policy and the protection of critical infrastructure within the United States. They also look ahead to consider what dangers we should anticipate and plan for, recommending policies that will work to that end.
One of the strands running through Protecting the Homeland 2006/2007 is the need to “stitch the seams” in our homeland security blanket through greater integration and coordination. The authors emphasize that the U.S. federal government must work together with key partners who have been insufficiently integrated into American homeland security activities to date. These actors include foreign governments, state and local government, and the private sector, and the coordination must occur in several different areas (e.g. border protection, finance, technology, intelligence). The U.S. government should not—indeed, it cannot—do it alone. By its very nature, homeland security is a problem that defies the usual bureaucratic boundaries. Effective homeland security policy demands intense collaboration on new issues and between organizations that have not traditionally needed each other.
The Forgotten Homeland
A Century Foundation Task Force Report
Richard A. Clarke and Rand Beers, chairs
The Century Foundation Press 2006
Description: The Forgotten Homeland gathers some of the leading homeland security experts to analyze the nation’s most significant vulnerabilities and to propose strategies to reduce them. The report addresses terrorist as well as nonterrorist threats and offers ideas for strengthening all aspects of our emergency response—including our ability to respond to natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.
Key topics covered include protecting transportation networks, upgrading "first response" capabilities, confronting the unconventional weapons challenge, and gaining better intelligence.
Fighting Terrorist Financing
Transatlantic Cooperation and International Institutions
Center for Transatlantic Relations, JHU--SAIS 2006
Description: International and European regional organizations are playing an important role in combating terrorist financing. Underneath news reports of transatlantic tensions and arguments is a significant and largely successful multilateral effort, one that forms the basis for a common international approach to the problem.
This book explains how use of common conventions, standards (e.g., the Financial Action Task Force's standards), and approaches by many different international, regional, and specialized institutions is a major step forward in the fight. Author Anne Richard recommends expanding and deepening these efforts across Europe and in neighboring regions. The book also calls for improving methods used to fight terrorist financing.
The Innocence Network
The Innocence Network is an affiliation of organizations dedicated to providing pro bono legal and investigative services to individuals seeking to prove innocence of crimes for which they have been convicted and working to redress the causes of wrongful convictions.
New from Thomson West
Recent new editions published by Thomson West:
- Burton's Principles of Contract Law, 3d
- Clary and Lysaght's Successful Legal Analysis and Writing: The Fundamentals, 2d
- Varady, Barcelo and von Mehren's International Commercial Arbitration, 3d
- Hamilton's Black Letter on Corporations, 5th
Burton's Principles of Contract Law, 3d
Format: Book - hardbound
List Price: $95.00
Publisher's blurb: Covers autonomy principle, promises, agreements, and requirements of a writing Looks at justification principle, bargained-for exchange, reliance on a promise, and unjust enrichment Examines justice principle, domain of freedom of contract, mistakes, and unequal bargaining power Explains compensation principle, expectation of remedies, and restitution Identifies and interprets contract terms, promises, and conditions Defines security principle and interests of the parties impaired by a breach Addresses boundaries of autonomy, excuse for nonperformance, and tortious conduct in contract performance Explores rights of third parties, third-party beneficiaries, assignments, and delegation
Clary and Lysaght's Successful Legal Analysis and Writing: The Fundamentals, 2d
Format: Book - softbound
List Price: $33.00
Publisher's blurb: This work is a practical legal analysis and writing handbook. Designed for first-year students, it is also a valuable refresher text for more advanced students, and for practitioners. The book features fundamental advice, a problem-solving perspective, illustrative examples and templates, and an easy-to-read approach. Each chapter is designed to stand on its own or be supplemented by a professor's own materials.
Varady, Barcelo and von Mehren's International Commercial Arbitration, 3d
Format: Book - hardbound
List Price: $98.00
Publisher's blurb: Chapter coverage includes authority of arbitration tribunals, focal points of the arbitration process, and the effects and limits of awards rendered in international commercial arbitration.
Hamilton's Black Letter on Corporations, 5th
Format: Book - softbound
List Price: $28.50
Publisher's blurb: This outline clearly explains the various legal entities entitled to act and do business in our society. It is designed to help students and practitioners better understand the modern business environment and all aspects of corporation law. Explains corporate and international business transactions. Also contains a text correlation chart that cross-references leading casebooks on corporations and includes numerous study aids.
April 6, 2006
Hing on the Moral Choice in Immigration Policy
JURIST Guest Columnist Bill Hing of UC Davis School of Law and co-editor of our sister blog, ImmigratonProf Blog, says that immigration legislation now being debated in Congress presents lawmakers with a moral choice, and that in its own economic, social, and national security interests it's time for the United States to do the right thing... Indeed it is. Here's the article.
Recent CRS Reports on Immigration
Recent CRS Reports on Immigration include the following:
- CRIMINALIZING UNLAWFUL PRESENCE: SELECTED ISSUES
- IMMIGRATION LEGISLATION AND ISSUES IN THE 109TH CONGRESS
- IMMIGRATION RELATED BORDER SECURITY LEGISLATION IN THE 109TH CONGRESS
- TOWARD MORE EFFECTIVE IMMIGRATION POLICIES: SELECTED ORGANIZATIONAL ISSUES
- U.S. IMMIGRATION POLICY ON PERMANENT ADMISSIONS
- THE EFFECTS ON U.S. FARM WORKERS OF AN AGRICULTURAL GUEST WORKER PROGRAM
- FARM LABOR: THE ADVERSE EFFECT WAGE RATE
- IMMIGRATION: LEGISLATIVE ISSUES ON NONIMMIGRANT PROFESSIONAL SPECIALTY (H-1B) WORKERS
- BORDER SECURITY: KEY AGENCIES AND THEIR MISSIONS
- IMMIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION: CURRENT LEGISLATIVE ISSUES
CRIMINALIZING UNLAWFUL PRESENCE: SELECTED ISSUES
CRS Publication Date: 03/29/2006
Document No.: RS22413
Author(s): Michael John Garcia, American Law Division
Abstract: Several bills introduced in the 109th Congress would make the unauthorized presence of aliens in the U.S. a criminal offense, including H.R. 4437, the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005, introduced by Representative James Sensenbrenner on December 6, 2005 and passed by the House as amended on December 16, 2005, and S. 2454, the Securing America's Borders Act, introduced by Senator Bill Frist on March 16, 2006. The version of Chairman Arlen Specter's mark reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 27, 2006 does not contain a provision criminalizing unlawful presence, though the bill had initially contained such a provision. This report discusses some of the issues raised by criminalizing unlawful presence.
IMMIGRATION LEGISLATION AND ISSUES IN THE 109TH CONGRESS
CRS Publication Date: 03/23/2006
Document No.: RL33125
Author(s): Andorra Bruno, Ruth Ellen Wasem, Alison Siskin, and Blas Nunez-Neto, Domestic Social Policy Division; Michael John Garcia, Stephen R. Vina, and Mikyung Lee, American Law Division; and Karma Ester, Knowledge Services Group
Abstract: While immigration reform proposals remain pending, Congress has enacted limited provisions on temporary and permanent employment-based immigration as part of P.L. 109-13. It also has enacted legislation concerning alien victims of domestic violence, trafficking in persons, and refugees. This report discusses these and other immigration-related issues that have seen legislative action or are of significant congressional interest. The final section of the report lists enacted legislation and selected bills receiving action.
IMMIGRATION RELATED BORDER SECURITY LEGISLATION IN THE 109TH CONGRESS
CRS Publication Date: 03/24/2006
Document No.: RL33181
Author(s): Blas Nunez-Neto, Domestic Social Policy Division
Abstract: In the 109th Congress, there are a large number of bills currently pending that would address some of the immigration issues associated with border security by focusing on the movement of people into the country, both at POE and illegally across the U.S. international land border. This report focuses on the main legislative issues facing the 109th Congress relating to the movement of people across the border.
TOWARD MORE EFFECTIVE IMMIGRATION POLICIES: SELECTED ORGANIZATIONAL ISSUES
CRS Publication Date: 03/17/2006
Document No.: RL33319
Author(s): Ruth Ellen Wasem, Domestic Social Policy Division
Abstract: As Congress weighs comprehensive immigration reform legislation that would likely include strengthened enforcement measures, a significant expansion of guest workers, and perhaps include increased levels of permanent immigration, some question whether the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can handle the increased immigration workload. In response to growing concerns that the immigration responsibilities and other important duties of DHS were not functioning effectively, DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff announced the Second Stage Review (2SR) to base work on priorities driven by risk. "Strengthen[ing] border security and interior enforcement and reform[ing] immigration processes" is on the six-point agenda driving Secretary Chertoff's plans to improve DHS management. Currently, three agencies in DHS have important immigration functions: Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
U.S. IMMIGRATION POLICY ON PERMANENT ADMISSIONS
CRS Publication Date: 03/24/2006
Document No.: RL32235
Author(s): Ruth Ellen Wasem, Domestic Social Policy Division
Abstract: Four major principles underlie U.S. policy on legal permanent immigration: the reunification of families, the admission of immigrants with needed skills, the protection of refugees, and the diversity of admissions by country of origin. These principles are embodied in federal law, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) first codified in 1952. The Immigration Amendments of 1965 replaced the national origins quota system (enacted after World War I) with per-country ceilings, and the statutory provisions regulating permanent immigration to the United States were last revised significantly by the Immigration Act of 1990.
THE EFFECTS ON U.S. FARM WORKERS OF AN AGRICULTURAL GUEST WORKER PROGRAM
CRS Publication Date: 03/09/2006
Document No.: 95-712
Author(s): Linda Levine, Domestic Social Policy Division
Abstract: If amendment of the H-2A program or initiation of a new agricultural guest worker program led growers to employ many more aliens than is now the case, the effects of the Bracero program might be instructive: although the 1942-1964 Bracero program succeeded in expanding the farm labor supply, studies estimate that it also harmed domestic farm workers as measured by their reduced wages and employment. The magnitudes of these adverse effects might differ today depending upon how much the U.S. farm labor and product markets have changed over time, but their direction likely would be the same.
FARM LABOR: THE ADVERSE EFFECT WAGE RATE (AEWR)
CRS Publication Date: 03/17/2006
Document No.: RL32861
Author(s): William G. Whittaker, Domestic Social Policy Division
Abstract: American agricultural employers have long utilized foreign workers on a temporary basis, regarding them as an important labor resource. At the same time, the relatively low wages and adverse working conditions of such workers have caused them to be viewed as a threat to domestic American workers. Some have argued that foreign guest workers compete unfairly with U.S. workers - both in terms of compensation that they are willing to accept and by making it somewhat more difficult for domestic workers to organize and to bargain with management. To mitigate any "adverse effect"for the domestic workforce, a system of wage floors was developed that applies, variously, both to alien and citizen workers: i.e., the adverse effect wage rate (AEWR). This report deals with one element of immigration (i.e., namely the H-2A workers). It introduces the adverse effect wage rate, it examines the concerns out of which it grew, and it explains at least some of the problems that have been encountered in giving it effect.
IMMIGRATION: LEGISLATIVE ISSUES ON NONIMMIGRANT PROFESSIONAL SPECIALTY (H-1B) WORKERS
CRS Publication Date: 03/24/2006
Document No.: RL30498
Author(s): Ruth Ellen Wasem, Domestic Social Policy Division
Abstract: Most recently, Title IV of S. 2454, which Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist introduced, as well as Title V in the draft of Senate Judiciary Chairman Specter's mark, would exempt aliens who have earned an advanced degree in science, technology, engineering, or math from an accredited university in the United States from the numerical limits of H-1Bs.
BORDER SECURITY: KEY AGENCIES AND THEIR MISSIONS
CRS Publication Date: 01/26/2006
Document No.: RS21899
Author(s): Blas Nunez-Neto, Domestic Social Policy Division
Abstract: This report is a primer on the key federal agencies charged with border security; as such it describes each agency's role in securing our nation's borders.
IMMIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION: CURRENT LEGISLATIVE ISSUES
CRS Publication Date: 02/09/2006
Document No.: RL32369
Author(s): Alison M. Siskin, Domestic Social Policy Division
Abstract: There are many policy issues surrounding detention of aliens including concerns about the number of aliens subject to mandatory detention, and the justness of mandatory detention, especially as it is applied to asylum seekers arriving without proper documentation. Some have raised concerns about the length of time in detention for aliens who have been ordered removed. Additionally, issues have been raised about the amount of detention space available to house Department of Homeland Security detainees. Another area of uncertainty is the Attorney Generals role in the detention of noncitizens, since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.
Ron Jones, University of Cincinnati College of Law
D-Lib Examines the Million (Digital) Book Library
The March 2006 issue of D-Lib is a special issue that focuses on one topic, the evolution of the digital library. See Table of Contents
Of particular interest is Daniel Cohen's contribution, Data Mining Large Digital Collections. Cohn's writes that through his experience building APIs he has learned three lessons. Lessons, Dan writes, "that are not entirely in accord with key premises of some of those working in the world of digital libraries." They are:
- More emphasis needs to be placed on creating APIs for digital collections.
- Resources that are free to use in any way, even if they are imperfect, are more valuable than those that are gated or use-restricted, even if those resources are qualitatively better.
- Quantity may make up for a lack of quality.
Most controversial of course is Cohn's claim that quantity may trump quality. Cohn explains:
High-quality digitization and thorough text markup may be attractive for those creating digital collections, but a familiarity with information theory and data-mining techniques makes one realize that it may be more worthwhile to digitize a greater number of books or documents at a lower standard for the same cost. ... In our libraries – once analog and now digital – we come across countless similar phrases, wordings, and facts in numerous books, and many books refer to each other through footnotes and bibliographies. This repetition and cross-referencing should allow us to create tools for mining the vast information and knowledge that lies within the nearly limitless digital collections we are about to encounter.
New & Forthcoming Titles from Princeton University Press
This post reports on the following new and forthcoming titles from Princeton University Press:
- The Politics of Precedent on the U.S. Supreme Court
- Information Science
- The Roman Predicament: How the Rules of International Order Create the Politics of Empire
- Filibuster: Obstruction and Lawmaking in the U.S. Senate
- Injury: The Politics of Product Design and Safety Law in the United States
- Plato's Fable: On the Mortal Condition in Shadowy Times
The Politics of Precedent on the U.S. Supreme Court
Thomas G. Hansford and James F. Spriggs, II
176 pp. | April 2006 | $29.95 | ISBN: 0-691-12354-3
Publisher's Description: The Politics of Precedent on the U.S. Supreme Court offers an insightful and provocative analysis of the Supreme Court's most important task--shaping the law. Thomas Hansford and James Spriggs analyze a key aspect of legal change: the Court's interpretation or treatment of the precedents it has set in the past. Court decisions do not just resolve immediate disputes; they also set broader precedent. The meaning and scope of a precedent, however, can change significantly as the Court revisits it in future cases. The authors contend that these interpretations are driven by an interaction between policy goals and variations in the legal authoritativeness of precedent. From this premise, they build an explanation of the legal interpretation of precedent that yields novel predictions about the nature and timing of legal change.
Hansford and Spriggs test their hypotheses by examining how the Court has interpreted the precedents it set between 1946 and 1999. This analysis provides compelling support for their argument, and demonstrates that the justices' ideological goals and the role of precedent are inextricably linked. The two prevailing, yet contradictory, views of precedent--that it acts either solely as a constraint, or as a "cloak" that never actually influences the Court--are incorrect. This book shows that while precedent can operate as a constraint on the justices' decisions, it also represents an opportunity to foster preferred societal outcomes.
David G. Luenberger
448 pp. | April 2006 | $80.00 | ISBN: 0-691-12418-3
Publisher's Description: From cell phones to Web portals, advances in information and communications technology have thrust society into an information age that is far-reaching, fast-moving, increasingly complex, and yet essential to modern life. Now, renowned scholar and author David Luenberger has produced Information Science, a text that distills and explains the most important concepts and insights at the core of this ongoing revolution. The book represents the material used in a widely acclaimed course offered at Stanford University.
Drawing concepts from each of the constituent subfields that collectively comprise information science, Luenberger builds his book around the five "E's" of information: Entropy, Economics, Encryption, Extraction, and Emission. Each area directly impacts modern information products, services, and technology--everything from word processors to digital cash, database systems to decision making, marketing strategy to spread spectrum communication.
To study these principles is to learn how English text, music, and pictures can be compressed, how it is possible to construct a digital signature that cannot simply be copied, how beautiful photographs can be sent from distant planets with a tiny battery, how communication networks expand, and how producers of information products can make a profit under difficult market conditions.
176 p | May 2006 | $24.95 | ISBN: 0-691-12221-0
Publisher's Description: Modern America owes the Roman Empire for more than gladiator movies and the architecture of the nation's Capitol. It can also thank the ancient republic for some helpful lessons in globalization. So argues economic historian Harold James in this masterful work of intellectual history.
The book addresses what James terms "the Roman dilemma"--the paradoxical notion that while global society depends on a system of rules for building peace and prosperity, this system inevitably leads to domestic clashes, international rivalry, and even wars. As it did in ancient Rome, James argues, a rule-based world order eventually subverts and destroys itself, creating the need for imperial action. The result is a continuous fluctuation between pacification and the breakdown of domestic order.
James summons this argument, first put forth more than two centuries ago in Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations and Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, to put current events into perspective. The world now finds itself staggering between a set of internationally negotiated trading rules and exchange--rate regimes, and the enforcement practiced by a sometimes-imperial America. These two forces--liberal international order and empire--will one day feed on each other to create a shakeup in global relations, James predicts. To reinforce his point, he invokes the familiar bon mot once applied to the British Empire: "When Britain could not rule the waves, it waived the rules."
Despite the pessimistic prognostications of Smith and Gibbon, who saw no way out of this dilemma, James ends his book on a less depressing note. He includes a chapter on one possible way in which the world could resolve the Roman Predicament--by opting for a global system based on values as opposed to rules.
Obstruction and Lawmaking in the U.S. Senate
Gregory J. Wawro and Eric Schickler
326 pp | 2006 | $29.95 / £18.95 | ISBN: 0-691-12509-0
Publisher's Description: Parliamentary obstruction, popularly known as the "filibuster," has been a defining feature of the U.S. Senate throughout its history. In this book, Gregory J. Wawro and Eric Schickler explain how the Senate managed to satisfy its lawmaking role during the nineteenth and early twentieth century, when it lacked seemingly essential formal rules for governing debate.
What prevented the Senate from self-destructing during this time? The authors argue that in a system where filibusters played out as wars of attrition, the threat of rule changes prevented the institution from devolving into parliamentary chaos. They show that institutional patterns of behavior induced by inherited rules did not render Senate rules immune from fundamental changes.
The authors' theoretical arguments are supported through a combination of extensive quantitative and case-study analysis, which spans a broad swath of history. They consider how changes in the larger institutional and political context--such as the expansion of the country and the move to direct election of senators--led to changes in the Senate regarding debate rules. They further investigate the impact these changes had on the functioning of the Senate. The book concludes with a discussion relating battles over obstruction in the Senate's past to recent conflicts over judicial nominations.
The Politics of Product Design and Safety Law in the United States
Sarah S. Lochlann Jain
230 pp | 2006 | $19.95 / £12.95 | ISBN: 0-691-11908-2 (paper)
May 2006 | $55.00 | ISBN: 0-691-11907-4 (hardcover)
Publisher's Description: Injury offers the first sustained anthropological analysis and critique of American injury law. The book approaches injury law as a symptom of a larger American injury culture, rather than as a tool of social justice or as a form of regulation. In doing so, it offers a new understanding of the problematic role that law plays in constructing Americans' relations with the objects they consume.
Through lively historical analyses of consumer products and workplace objects ranging from cigarettes to cheeseburgers and computer keyboards to airbags, Jain lucidly illustrates the real limits of the product safety laws that seek to redress consumer and worker injury. The book draws from a wide range of materials to demonstrate that American law sets out injury as an exceptional state, one that can be redressed through imperfect systems of monetary compensation. Injury demonstrates how laws are unable to accommodate the ways in which physical differences among citizens are imposed by the physical objects of culture that distribute risk differently among populations. The book moves between detailed accounts of individual legal cases; historical analyses of advertising, product design, regulation, and legal history; and a wide reading of cultural theory.
On the Mortal Condition in Shadowy Times
226 pp. | 2006 | $35.00 / £22.95 | ISBN: 0-691-12438-8
Publisher's Description: This book is an exploration of Plato's Republic that bypasses arcane scholarly debates. Plato's Fable provides refreshing insight into what, in Plato's view, is the central problem of life: the mortal propensity to adopt defective ways of answering the question of how to live well.
How, in light of these tendencies, can humankind be saved? Joshua Mitchell discusses the question in unprecedented depth by examining one of the great books of Western civilization.
He draws us beyond the ancients/moderns debate, and beyond the notion that Plato's Republic is best understood as shedding light on the promise of discursive democracy. Instead, Mitchell argues, the question that ought to preoccupy us today is neither "reason" nor "discourse," but rather "imitation." To what extent is man first and foremost an "imitative" being? This, Mitchell asserts, is the subtext of the great political and foreign policy debates of our times.
Plato's Fable is not simply a work of textual exegesis. It is an attempt to move debates within political theory beyond their current location. Mitchell recovers insights about the depth of the problem of mortal imitation from Plato's magnificent work, and seeks to explicate the meaning of Plato's central claim--that "only philosophy can save us."
Opening: Associate Dean for Information & Technology Services & Law Library Director, Arkansas
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law invites applications for the position of Associate Dean for Information & Technology Services & Law Library Director, a tenure track faculty position. The Associate Dean & Director provides strategic direction and vision for the library, works collaboratively with talented and accomplished library faculty and staff to meet the law school's educational mission through the provision of both traditional and innovative library resources and services. The Associate Dean & Director will be a leader who can expand the use of technology into the cultural environment of both the library and the law school and lead the library in contributing to the law school's commitment to excellence in education and research.
Responsibilities: The Associate Dean for Information Services & Technology & Law Library Director reports to the Dean of the School of Law; is responsible for the overall management and direction of the law library and the technology services of the school; teaches Legal Research I and II; participates in providing reference service; and develops and maintains mechanisms to proactively support faculty scholarship. The Associate Dean & Director develops community support, builds relationships with the central Arkansas legal community and maintains an active working relationship with the Pulaski County Law Library Board.
Required: Applicants must have a J.D. degree from an ABA accredited law school and an MLS or equivalent from an ALA accredited library school and must possess a wide understanding of contemporary issues affecting legal education, libraries and information technology. Applicants must also have a minimum of five years of progressively responsible administrative experience in a law library; a demonstrated capacity to effectively lead library faculty and staff and to manage complex projects; significant knowledge of information technology in the law library and law school environment; and experience working with a diverse population of library users.
Salary and Benefits: The Associate Dean & Director is a member of the tenure track teaching faculty. Salary and academic rank will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Salary is competitive and includes excellent fringe benefits.
Other: The School of Law is housed in a modern, attractive building with the law library serving as the building's centerpiece. The library, a combined academic and county law library, has a service- oriented staff of five professional law librarians, 11.75 support personnel and 3.75 computer professionals. Faculty and administrative offices, classrooms and the library are fully integrated through both wired and wireless networks. In addition to a full-time program of legal education, the School of Law offers a part-time program in the evening. The School has 26 full-time faculty and approximately 460 students. The School of Law is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.
The University and School of Law administrations are committed to the continuing excellence of the library collection. Library holdings include approximately 300,000 volumes, 91,000 titles, 1,500 electronic titles and 3,000 active serial subscriptions. The library maintains membership with both NELLCO and MAALCO consortia and ARKLink, a consortium of 49 Arkansas academic libraries. The library is both a federal and state depository. Special collections include Arkansas Supreme Court Records and Briefs (1836 1909). Innovative Interfaces provides the library's integrated library system and online catalog.
To Apply: Send a letter of application, a resume and names of three or more professional references to (Job #88) Professor Ken Gould, University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, 1201 McMath Ave., Little Rock, Arkansas 72202. The position is available July 1, 2006. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and actively seeks the candidacy of minorities, women and persons with disabilities. Under Arkansas law, all applications are subject to disclosure. Persons hired must have proof of legal authority to work in the United States.
April 5, 2006
Law Schools and Money Management
The March issue of National Jurist has an article titled "Is your law school just out to make money?" In my opinion, the title should be "Is your law school running out of money?"
One of Cincinnati Law's recent grads is interviewed in this article. Tara VanHo was an excellent law student, a member of Honor Council, a student articles editor for Law Review, and a very dependable, hard working student employee for our library. Except for the error about free printouts (it's 1,100 free printouts, not 100 free printouts) I have no problem with most of Tara's factual statements about the library, just about the inferences drawn from them.
We, like many other libraries, have been faced with tough choices because of budget cuts. We implemented pay-for-printouts because that was a university-wide policy, one that we ignored until it became too costly for us to continue to do so. Pay-for-printouts is now accepted as par for the course by our current student body.
Tara's comments about the Cincinnati Law Library acquiring less books is dead on. Due to budget increases that neither compensate for past budget cuts nor for the rate of inflation in legal publishing, we now buy 66% less new titles than we did in 1997. I'm sure we are not alone.
Bottom line: The Cincinnati Law Library is not "making money."
Undocumented Immigrants: Myths and Reality
Myth #1: Undocumented immigrants come to the United States to get welfare.
Myth #2: Undocumented immigrants all crossed the Mexican border.
Myth #3: Undocumented immigrants are all single men.
Myth #4: Most children of the undocumented are unauthorized.
Myth #5: A large share of schoolchildren are undocumented.
Myth #6: Undocumented immigrants do not pay taxes.
For a detailed analysis of the above myths see Undocumented Immigrants: Myths and Reality (Data at a Glance) by Randolph Capps and Michael E. Fix (Urban Institute. 2005)
Ground-breaking Empirical Study of Judicial Practice in a Chinese Lower Court
Sida Liu (Univ. of Chicago) has completed a ground-breaking study of Chinese basic-level courts. It is based on empirical data rather than anecdotal evidence. Law & Society Inquiry published the article in its March issue. See Beyond Global Convergence: Conflicts of Legitimacy in a Chinese Lower Court, 31 Law & Social Inquiry 75 (2006). Here's the abstract and a link to the article (pdf):
This article examines the localization of global legal institutions by the case study of a lower court in China's Hebei Province. Using data on the changes in the formal organizational structure, the composition of personnel, the case docket, and case dispositions in this court between 1978 and 2000, the author demonstrates that global legal institutions have survived in China’s judicial practice by adapting to indigenous social and political demands and get localized. The day-to-day judicial work of Chinese lower court judges is only loosely coupled with their formal roles, and the judicial decision-making process is contingent upon the historical origin of the judiciary, administrative influence, and the legal consciousness of local communities. The underlying reason for the localization process is the complexity of legitimacy at the local level. Global prescription, economic pressure, political influence, and local social order all require certain types of legitimacy from the legal institutions. As a result, beyond the symbolic functions of global convergence, the practical meanings of the legal institutions are socially constructed in the judicial practice to reconcile the conflicts between global and local sources of legitimacy.
BNA Offers New Current Awareness Service
BNA's Web Watch Reading Room provides a periodic review of online resources prepared by the BNA Library's Laura Gordon-Murnane. The site provides links government, industry, and academic resources on selected topics spanning the breadth of BNA coverage. According to the product announcement, new subjects will be posted weekly, and new resources will also be added to existing topics. Recent weekly topics have included immigration reform and state and local government post-employment benefits.
Ron Jones, University of Cincinnati Law Library
Building Universal Digital Libraries: An Agenda for Copyright Reform
Hannibal Travis (Florida Int'l Law) has posted Building Universal Digital Libraries: An Agenda for Copyright Reform on SSRN. Here is the abstract.
This article proposes a series of copyright reforms to pave the way for digital library projects like Project Gutenberg, the Internet Archive, and Google Print, which promise to make much of the world's knowledge easily searchable and accessible from anywhere. Existing law frustrates digital library growth and development by granting overlapping, overbroad, and near-perpetual copyrights in books, art, audiovisual works, and digital content. Digital libraries would benefit from an expanded public domain, revitalized fair use doctrine and originality requirement, rationalized systems for copyright registration and transfer, and a new framework for compensating copyright owners for online infringement without imposing derivative copyright liability on technologists. This article's case for reform begins with rolling back the copyright term extensions of recent years, which were upheld by the Supreme Court in Eldred v. Reno. Indefinitely renewable copyrights threaten to marginalize Internet publishing and online libraries by entangling them in endless disputes regarding the rights to decades- or centuries-old works. Similarly, digital library projects are becoming unnecessarily complicated and expensive to undertake due to the assertion by libraries and copyright holding companies of exclusive rights over unoriginal reproductions of public domain works, and the demands of authors that courts block all productive digital uses of their already published but often out-of-print works. Courts should refuse to allow the markets in digital reproductions to be monopolized in this way, and Congress must introduce greater certainty into copyright licensing by requiring more frequent registration and recordation of rights. Courts should also consider the digitizing of copyrighted works for the benefit of the public to be fair use, particularly where only excerpts of the works are posted online for public perusal. A digital library like Google Print needs a degree of certainty - which existing law does not provide - that it will not be punished for making miles of printed matter instantly searchable in the comfort of one's home, or for rescuing orphan works from obscurity or letting consumers preview a few pages of a book before buying it. Finally, the Supreme Court's recognition of liability for inducement of digital copyright infringement in the Grokster case may have profoundly negative consequences for digital library technology. The article discusses how recent proposals for statutory file-sharing licenses may reduce the bandwidth and storage costs of digital libraries, and thereby make them more comprehensive and accessible.
Grab Bag Lists Law Librarianship as Career Path
From the desk of Claire M. Germain, AALL President:
"For the first time, law librarians are listed in Occupational Outlook, in the Grab Bag, a career information magazine aimed at high school and college students and counselors. (Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Spring 2006, Vol. 50, Number 1). This is a great new opportunity to spread the message about law librarianship as a career possibility to students at an early stage in their career preparation."
Ron Jones, University of Cincinnati Law Library