October 21, 2006
National Journal's White House 2008 Rankings
From the National Journal:
"All of the top-tier candidates will want to open up federal accounts for official fundraising as quickly as possible, particularly the candidates that didn't run last time like Mitt Romney, Mark Warner and Evan Bayh. What's not clear is when John McCain, Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Edwards announce. They have the standing to wait a bit longer than others, but at the same time, they'd like to make sure their new challengers don't get too much oxygen. This should be fascinating to watch. "
North Korea: Nuclear number nine?
From the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientitists:
To better understand recent events, take a look at these recent Bulletin reports on U.S.-North Korean relations and North Korean nuclear capabilities:
- North Korean nuclear program, 2005
- North Korea: No bygones at Yongbyon
- North Korea: Less than meets the eye
- Letter from Pyongyang
- How much plutonium does North Korea have?
October 20, 2006
EFF wants info on FBI database
"Has the FBI been forthcoming enough about a database that reportedly stores hundreds of millions of records designed for use in counterterrorism investigations?
Definitely not, argued attorneys from the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Washington D.C. outpost in a six-page complaint (click for PDF) filed Tuesday with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
The San Francisco-based advocacy group's complaint accuses the FBI of failing to respond to its requests for information about the scope and privacy impact of the database, known as the Investigative Data Warehouse (IDW), within the time period stipulated by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)."
Guide to Citators for the Non-lawyer
DePaul Law's Mark Giangrande, editor of Tech Law Prof Blog and all too infrequent contributor to this blog, has published A Brief Description of Citators for Those Without a Legal Background on Groklaw. Bookmark it! [JH]
2006 Interactive Elections Guide
World Blog Aggregator
Global Voices "seeks to amplify, curate and aggregate the global conversation online - with a focus on countries and communities outside the U.S. and Western Europe. [They] are committed to developing tools, institutions and relationships that will help all voices everywhere to be heard." One such tool is their World Blog Aggegator hosted on Bloglines. The World Blog Aggegator organizes RSS feeds by country of origin. Check it out! [JH]
Library Student Journal
Opening: Web Content Specialists, GPO
WEB CONTENT SPECIALISTS
(3 Positions available within GS-7/12)
Salary Range: $36,671 - $84,559 PA
Location: Washington, DC
The U.S. Government Printing Office is seeking Web Programmers, Graphic Designers, and/or Web Analysts experienced with cutting-edge Web tools (e.g. CSS, RSS, MySQL, PHP, Flash, streaming audio/video) to join our staff in upgrading Web services from static HTML to database-driven dynamic sites.
Applicants must possess strong technical and creative skills, knowledge of Internet working technologies, HTML, object-oriented programming and experience in graphic design.
The Web Content Management office is responsible for the maintenance and future design/architecture of GPO Access, the FDLP Desktop, U.S. Government Online Bookstore, and Ben's Guide to U.S. Government.
The incumbent of this position works collectively with fellow Web designers as well as content development specialists in the development of new content and dissemination techniques based on Web standards.
For details and application procedures, please visit our Web site at:
http://www.gpo.gov/careers/jobs/06-544.pdf. The application deadline is October 23, 2006.
Additional information on careers at GPO is available at http://www.gpo.gov/careers/index.html.
If you have questions or comments, please use the GPO online help service
October 19, 2006
The Northwestern Colloquy Joins the Blogosphere
From the blog announcement:
The Northwestern Colloquy will be the first scholarly weblog to be operated by a major law review. It will feature legal commentary written in the form of blog posts. This new format will allow scholars to publish their thoughts within days of an emerging legal development. The subject matter can be anything within the field of legal inquiry, whether a short exposition of a new idea, an analysis of an emerging legal topic, an ongoing debate regarding a legal issue, or a short response to an already published piece of scholarship. Readers can rely upon the Law Review to ensure that citations in these pieces support the assertions made in the posts. We will also be allowing comments on these pieces in a moderated forum. We hope that this new feature will serve as both an attractive new way in which to publish ideas and as a meeting place for far-flung scholars to interact and refine their work.
Additionally, for those who wish to publish pieces that straddle the border between the depth and rigor of an article and the speed and brevity of a blog post or an op-ed, the Colloquy will regularly publish short pieces of scholarship, of no more than 5000 words and 40 footnotes. These short pieces will be initially published on the web, and subsequently added to a print volume of the Law Review. This will drastically shorten the amount of time that lapses between the conception of an idea and the possibility of its publication in a major law review from more than a year to less than three months. Just as with the blog posts on the Colloquy, students will provide authors who contribute these short pieces with the editing and citation-checking services that are a hallmark of legal publication.
The Colloquy will launch, with both blog posts and its first short piece, on November 1, 2006.
As usual, Ian Best, 3L Epiphany, has done a great job tracking the development of online law journal companions. In Academic Blogging News he has identified seven blogs that are hosted by and/or serve as online extensions to law journals.
- Harvard Law and Policy Review: HLPR Online
- Harvard Law Review: Forum
- Journal of the Business Law Society (Illinois, Chicago)
- Michigan Law Review: First Impressions
- Northwestern University Law Review: Northwestern Colloquy
- University of Pennsylvania Law Review: PENNumbra
- Yale Law Journal: The Pocket Part
Professional Reading: The Supreme Court in Bondage: Constitutional Stare Decisis, Legal Formalism, and the Future of Unenumerated Rights
Illinois Law Prof Larry Solum has posted The Supreme Court in Bondage: Constitutional Stare Decisis, Legal Formalism, and the Future of Unenumerated Rights on SSRN. Here's the abstract:
This essay advances a formalist conception of constitutional stare decisis. I shall argue that instrumentalist accounts of precedent are inherently unsatisfying and that the Supreme Court should abandon adherence to the doctrine that it is free to overrule its own prior decisions. These moves are embedded in a larger theoretical framework—a revival of formalist ideas in legal theory that I shall call “neoformalism” to distinguish my view from the so-called “formalism” caricatured by the legal realists (and from some other views that are called “formalist”).
In Part II, The Critique of Unenumerated Constitutional Rights, we set the stage by briefly recalling why the unenumerated rights precedents are under theoretical (and political) siege. Then, in Part III, Neoformalism, Stare Decisis, and the Rule of Law, we examine the jurisprudential roots of a formalist revival that would create theoretical space for the idea that the Supreme Court should regard itself as bound by precedent. In Part IV, A Neoformalist Conception of Constitutional Stare Decisis, that theoretical framework is deployed to develop the outline of a neoformalist theory of constitutional stare decisis. This conception is brought down to earth in Part V, which answers the question posed by its title: Does the Neoformalist Conception of Constitutional Stare Decisis Support Contemporary Unenumerated Rights Jurisprudence? We wrap it all up in Part VI, Unenumerated Rights and the Future of Constitutional Doctrine.
Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice
The MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice (ADJJ) has published a series of issue briefs that present findings from the Network's past and ongoing research. They are:
- Adolescent Legal Competence in Court
- Creating Turning Points for Serious Adolescent Offenders: Research on Pathways to Desistance
- Less Guilty by Reason of Adolescence
- Assessing Juvenile Psychopathy: Developmental and Legal Implications
- Transfer of Adolescents to the Adult Criminal Court
U. of Phoenix got confidential files in legal case through Education Department's error
"In a false-claims case accusing the University of Phoenix of misusing billions of dollars in federal money, the U.S. Department of Education gave the university's lawyers the entire legal strategy of the whistle-blowers who filed the lawsuit, including the identities of confidential witnesses. Now the department wants those documents back. (for subscribers)"
New Report On Future Of Higher Education
"The Future of Higher Education" is a new CHEMA (Council of Higher Education Education Management Associations) report that examines how higher education will change over the next ten years, identify what drives change, and understand how to prepare and manage change to shape the future of higher education. [RJ]
Opening: Catalog Librarian, Cincinnati
Robert S. Marx Law Library
University of Cincinnati
The Catalog Librarian is responsible for managing all aspects of the library's cataloging operations. Duties and responsibilities include developing long and short range plans for cataloging operations; performing original and copy cataloging (all formats), including creation and revision of bibliography and authority records; maintaining quality control of catalog and other integrated library system modules; developing and updating cataloging policies, standards and procedures; training and supervising paraprofessionals and student employees; creating instructional materials as needed; assisting in evaluating collection strengths and weaknesses; serving on collection development committee; coordinating collection maintenance,including weeding and shifting programs with Head of Circulation; substituting for Acquisitions Librarian as needed; participating in Law Library, University of Cincinnati inter-jurisdictional library, and University committees as appropriate; and performing other projects and duties as assigned. The position receives direction from and reports to the Associate Director for Library Operations.
Candidates must have an M.L.S. degree from an ALA-accredited institution; a minimum of 7 FTE years of professional-level cataloging experience in an academic law library; demonstrated mastery of OCLC, MARC, AACR2R, LCSH, LC-K classification schedule, and standard authority control procedures; understanding of the discipline of law, the bibliographic formats associated with it, the structure of legal literature, and trends in legal publishing; significant experience managing the catalog module of Innovative Interfaces, Inc. (III) integrated library system; a demonstrated ability to record cataloging data and report on cataloging operations pursuant to ABA and AALS requirements for annual survey of law library operations; excellent project management skills; strong organization skills with meticulous attention to detail; excellent communication and interpersonal skills; commitment to continuous improvement and innovation; demonstrated ability to work independently; and demonstrated proficiency in standard PC applications and ability to quickly apply new technologies to catalog operations. Candidates who have training in meta-data cataloging standards and methodologies beyond OCLC and MARC and proficiency with the Acquisitions and Circulation modules of III will be preferred.
The position will be filled at the rank of Associate Librarian and is subject to the University of Cincinnati Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure Criteria and Procedures of Library Faculty.
Salary: Commensurate with qualifications.
Application Deadline: November 15, 2006.
To apply: For the official job posting and to apply, go to www.jobsatuc.com/applicants/Central?quickFind=52990
The University of Cincinnati is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
October 18, 2006
Bush Signs Military Commissions Act
Yesterday President Bush signed the controversial Military Commissions Act of 2006, S. 3930. Legal challenges on whether the Act retroactively strips the courts of jurisdiction to hear detainee cases, and if so, would that amount to an unconstitutional suspension of the writ of habeas corpus have already been filed. See our earlier posts on the Act: The Military Commissions Act or How the Rule of Law is About to Stand at Attention and The Law of the Land (Still) Includes the War Crimes Act (includes legislative history of War Crimes Act as amended).
Administration and Congressional Resources
- Military Commissions Act of 2006 (pdf)
- Signing Statement
- Administration's Fact Sheet on the Act
- LC Thomas Legislative History Resources on S. 3930
- New lawsuits challenge Congress's detainee act
- Afghan detainees launch legal challenge to US military commissions bill
"THE important book of legal theory for this decade" is Law as a Means to an End: Threat to the Rule of Law
|Don't miss St. John's Law Prof Brian Tamanaha blogging about Law as Means to an End on Prawfsblawg.|
A must purchase for every academic law library. [JH]
Law as a Means to an End: Threat to the Rule of Law
by Brian Tamanaha, St. John's Universtiy Law School
List Price: $29.99
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1st edition (October 2, 2006)
Book Description. The contemporary U.S. legal culture is marked by ubiquitous battles among various groups attempting to seize control of the law and wield it against others in pursuit of their particular agenda. This battle takes place in administrative, legislative, and judicial arenas at both the state and federal levels. This book identifies the underlying source of these battles in the spread of the instrumental view of law - the idea that law is purely a means to an end - in a context of sharp disagreement over the social good. It traces the rise of the instrumental view of law in the course of the past two centuries, then demonstrates the pervasiveness of this view of law and its implications within the contemporary legal culture, and ends by showing the various ways in which seeing law in purely instrumental terms threatens to corrode the rule of law.
High Praise for Tamanaha's New Work
"Brian Tamanaha's Law as a Means to an End is something very rare--a book that has the potential to change thinking about the law in fundamental ways. The book accomplishes three substantial tasks with admirable brevity, erudition, and clarity. First, it traces the history of 'legal instrumentalism' in Nineteenth and Twentieth century jurisprudence and legal practice--a compelling story that illuminates the origins of our most basic assumptions about law. Second, it traces the pervasive influence of instrumentalist thinking in contemporary legal thought--acutely diagnosing the intellectual underpinnings of phenomena as diverse as 'cause lawyering' and the 'law and economics movement' in the legal academy. Third, it makes a compelling argument that the rise of instrumentalism has a fundamentally corrosive effect on the rule of law. This is not just an important book--it is THE important book of legal theory for this decade. Law as a Means to an End is superb." -- Lawrence Solum, John E. Cribbet Professor of Law, University of Illinois College of Law [Emphasis added.]
"The great scholar Grant Gilmore once asked in the title of a fascinating book, 'Is Contract Dead?' and went on to answer, 'yes.' Brian Tamanaha does him one better. In this book he asks, 'Is Law Dead?' His answer: 'almost.' Law, he reports, is in danger of succumbing to instrumentalism and as such losing its vitality. Much of modern legal scholarship seeks to make law a branch of applied economics. This book pushes against that movement, as well as many other related “realist” movements. Whether one agrees or disagrees with Tamanaha, he or she will be wiser after having read this fine book." -- Malcolm M. Feeley, Claire Sanders Clements Dean's Professor, Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley
"Brian Tamanaha sounds a firebell in the night. He shows how the most progressive modern approaches to law, by undermining beliefs in its objectivity and formal rationality, and its rootedness in natural or customary standards of right conduct, have fatally undermined its claims to restrain power-seeking or serve the common good. Law is now seen simply as an instrument -- not as a limit on greed and power, but a means by which interests pursue their own selfish ends. And it's not only interest-groups and their lawyers, but judges and jurists, who have signed on to an instrumentalism that challenges the very ideas of the rule of law and the public interest. Tamanaha is not a nostalgic romantic. He does not think the old days can or should be recovered. He does not tell us what to do. But he illuminates our predicament with succinct history, clear-headed observation, and unflinchingly bleak analysis." -- Robert W. Gordon, Chancellor Kent Professor of Law and Legal History, Yale University
The purpose of the Project Posner site is to make freely and easily available to the public Richard Posner's largest and greatest body of work — his judicial opinions. The database contains opinions from 1981 to 2006. It will not contain the most recent opinions. [RJ]
Putting Lexis & Westlaw Database Links in Pathfinders
Did you ever want to just link to a Lexis or Westlaw database in your pathfinder? Well, here's how:
They all start the same way: http://www.lexis.com/xlink?source= . After the "=" you put an abbreviation for the library name followed by a ";" and then the abbreviation for the file name like this:
You can find the library and file abbreviations in Lexis’ Directory of Online Sources at http://w3.nexis.com/sources Search by the full name of the source.
Go to Westlaw Integration Solutions at http://intranetsolutions.westlaw.com or http://lawschool.westlaw.com/customize/wizards/USDefault.wl . In the menu on the left side of the page, go to “Create a link to:” and click on “a database.” You can enter a database identifier (but not the whole name) into a text box or choose from a pull-down list of databases. Although the pull-down list does not include all of Westlaw’s databases, it works for databases that are not in the pull-down menu. Just type the abbreviation into the text box.
The result will include the HTLM link tags “<A HREF=” and “</A>.” If you don’t want them, just exclude them from the link.
<A HREF="http://www.westlaw.com/search/default.wl?db=oh-cs&Action=search&RS=ITK3.0&VR=1.0" >for Ohio cases </A>
<A HREF="http://www.westlaw.com/search/default.wl?db=JLR&Action=search&RS=ITK3.0&VR=1.0> Search JLR </A>
Jim Hart, Senior Reference Librarian, Marx Law Library, University of Cincinnati College of Law
2006 Balance of Power Spreadsheets
Another excellent resource from the University of Michigan Documents Center:
"Separate worksheets for the Senate, House, and Governors races on November 7, 2006. Each worksheet lists all incumbents from all states, colored for party, with separate columns for the party, last name, and first name. Three similar columns for the major candidates in each race. A visual aid for election night which can be sorted or filtered to determine specific changes in the balance of power."
SCOTUS Most Trusted Branch of Government
From the press release:
"Americans consistently rank the Supreme Court as the most trusted branch of government and hold a similar level of trust in state courts. But many also believe that the nation’s courts favor the wealthy and politically connected, that judges are motivated by political and personal biases, and are influenced by campaign fundraising.
The often conflicting views of the nation’s judiciary were measured in two national surveys released by Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania."