April 13, 2012
What Can You Find By Rummaging in the Federal Government's Attic?
Certainly, some interesting electronic copies of federal documents provided by Governmentattic.org via FOIA requests. For example, Collection of US Supreme Court Legal Maxims, Compiled by the Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Division Appellate Staff, [1993 through 1998 Terms] is a very interesting quick reference tool that provides
a collection of useful quotations from all opinions of the United States Supreme Court from its 1993 through 1998 Terms. These are intended to be used as a research tool for finding authority to cite in briefs and memoranda for common propositions of law. They are grouped into five categories: (1) Doctrines of Constitutional Construction (in the 1998 Term maxims only), (2) Doctrines of Statutory Construction, (3) Supreme Court Practice, (4) Procedural Doctrines, and (5) Substantive Law Doctrines.
I think identifying legal maxims for a SCOTUS or state supreme court term could be a very productive group project for any legal research course.
Other interesting finds that caught my attention include
- US Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Information Policy (OIP) template paragraphs used for responses to FOIA requests and appeals and OIP Administrative Appeal Letter Database and
- Numerious federal agency log requests including, for example, Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR) Request Logs for the National Security Agency (NSA), 2002-2010
For history buffs interested in Hoover era of the FBI, there are many documents like
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) File 71-HQ-5415, James Robert “Bob” Langston – Midwest Stag Film and Burlesque Showman, 1952-1953 and
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) file 62-HQ-46855: Book Reviews, 1959-1966
Plus there are numerious FBI files on President Nixon's longtime nemesis, Pulitzer Prize winning syndicated newspaper columnist Jack Anderson (use the site's search engine).
Yes, Governmentattic.org has an internal search engine but I didn't have time to see if any ETs were issued SSNs. [JH]