Judge Neil Gorsuch was sworn in today as the Supreme Court’s 113th justice. If you are interested in learning more about the Supreme Court appointment process, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) has several good reports. A recent report, Supreme Court Appointment Process: President’s Selection of a Nominee, includes information on the criteria for selecting a nominee, the advice and consent role of the Senate, the political aspects of the process, and the use of recess appointments to temporarily bypass Senate confirmation. For a more detailed account of the Senate’s role, the following CRS reports may also be of interest:
For more information on finding CRS reports online, see this blog post from the University of Houston’s O’Quinn Law Library.
In honor of Women’s History Month this March, head over to HeinOnline to see its Women and the Law collection. This Hein collection brings together books, biographies, and periodicals exploring the role of women in society and the law. Scholars use this platform to research the progression of women’s roles and rights in society over the past 200 years. In addition to a wealth of historical works, the collection also features more than 70 contemporary feminist sources archived from Emory University Law School’s Feminism and Legal Theory Project.
Have you been following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, colloquially known as “the Brexit?” In a referendum held on June 23rd, British citizens voted in favor of the Brexit, with 52% percent voting to leave the EU and 48% voting to remain.
What Happens Now?
That’s a good question as there is a great deal of uncertainty regarding the legal consequences of the referendum. As a matter of fact, the UK is the first member nation ever to elect to sever its ties with the EU. For the immediate future, though, the status quo will be maintained. First of all, it is important to note that the referendum has no legal consequences with respect to the UK’s status as a member state of the EU. Instead, the UK will begin the process of leaving the EU only after the British government invokes Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, one of the EU’s governing documents.
According to Article 50: “Any member state may decide to withdraw from the union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.” Article 50 also specifically provides “A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention.” This language is important because it makes clear that the Brexit cannot be initiated by the referendum vote, the trigger to request an exit from the EU can only be pulled by a formal request under Article 50 made by the British government. Whether and when the British government will actually invoke Article 50 is anybody’s guess given the spate of resignations and current state of turmoil in British politics. As a matter of fact, British legal scholars are currently debating how Article 50 is to be invoked – can the Prime Minister trigger Article 50 or is a formal vote of Parliament required?
What Happens When/If the British Government Invokes Article 50?
If the British government provides the EU with a formal Article 50 notification of its election to leave the EU, the UK and the EU will then be required by the Lisbon Treaty to negotiate a deal setting forth the terms of the UK’s withdrawal and establishing a structure for the future legal relationship between the UK and the EU. Once the Article 50 trigger is pulled, the European Council and the UK will have just two years to hammer out a new deal. If the parties choose not to extend this period and cannot reach any agreement, the UK will exit the EU with no formal arrangement in place. Once the Article 50 trigger is pulled, it is irreversible.
Following the Brexit vote, David Cameron announced his intention to resign as Prime Minister, leaving the decision on how and when to trigger Article 50 in the hands of his successor. Given the current chaos in British markets and politics, the culmination of Brexit may take years.
The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) has launched a beta version of its new GovInfo web site. After it completes its beta phase, Govinfo will replace FDsys, the federal government website currently providing free public access to over 50 different collections of federal government information, including the United States Code, the Code of Federal Regulations, Congressional materials, and selected federal case law. Users of GovInfo can browse by A-Z list, by category, by date, and by congressional committee content. To see a list of collections available on Govinfo, visit here.
Are you feeling nervous about exam preparation? Come to the library and take a look at our 1L study aid collection. Along with your own class outlines, these study aids can be very helpful with exam preparation. Our collection includes Examples & Explanations, Nutshells, Understandings Series, and more. Most of our study aids are on reserve behind the circulation desk. See any member of our circulation staff to check out a study aid.
Want more information about the BLS study aid collection? Visit our 1L Resources, Tips, and Tools legal research guide here: http://guides.brooklaw.edu/c.php?g=330909&p=2222538
Also, even though classes are over, keep in mind that reference librarians are still available at the reference desk to answer any of your research questions.
From all of us at the BLS library, best of luck on your exams!
Welcome back to your Spring 2016 Semester at BLS.
The first day of classes is Tuesday, January 19th.
Here are the library’s hours from January 19th –
Monday – Thursday 8am-12pm
On Monday, January 18th, Martin Luther King Day, the library will be open from 9am-10pm.
On Monday, February 15th, Presidents Day, the library will be open from 9am-10pm.
For additional information on library hours, see library hours.
The Law Library of Congress produces many excellent legal research tools – including the Guide to Law Online. The Guide to Law Online provides links for web-based sources of federal law http://www.loc.gov/law/help/guide/federal.php, state law http://www.loc.gov/law/help/guide/states.php, and for the laws of hundreds of foreign countries http://www.loc.gov/law/help/guide/nations.php.
Another great Law Library of Congress research tool is the Global Legal Monitor http://www.loc.gov/law/foreign-news/?loclr=bloglaw. The Global Legal Monitor offers coverage of legal news and developments worldwide. Global Legal Monitor is produced by a team of Law Library of Congress editors, it is updated frequently, and its content is drawn from news stories found in official national legal publications and reliable press sources. Browse news stories from the Global Legal Monitor homepage or search for older news stories by text, topic, jurisdiction, author, or date.
Are you looking for your first legal job and want to look like an expert in a particular practice area? Maybe you just want to learn more about a specific legal issue, an area of law, or a certain industry, law firm, or company? If so, you should investigate legal blogs, or “blawgs.”
Here are some things to know about blawgs:
- Blawgs usually follow “hot topics” or breaking legal news. They can cover general legal topics or can focus on specific practice areas.
- Blawgs may be written by attorneys, law librarians, law professors, or others.
- Blawgs can help you to become informed and to stay current but use caution as the main purpose of some blawgs may be attorney self-promotion.
If you are looking for blawgs, try:
- blawgsearch.justia.com/ – search for blawgs by most popular, by category, or run a keyword search.
- www.lxbn.com – search by subject, browse the headlines, or run a keyword search.
- scotusblog.com – an excellent source of material about the Supreme Court.
Finally, you can try:
- www.abajournal.com/blawgs – search by topic, author type, region, law school, and court. Also, take a look at the ABA’s Annual Blawg 100. According to ABA Journal, these are the blawgs that have “tipped us off to breaking news and the bloggers who have compelled us to write about their innovative ideas.”
All BLS students are eligible to take advantage of the American Bar Association’s offer of free membership to students enrolled at ABA approved law schools. With your free membership, you can: access the ABA Job Board, subscribe to ABA publications, participate in ABA career webinars, and take advantage of ABA discounts on a wide variety of products and services.
For more information or to enroll online, visit www.americanbar.org/abalawstudents or call the ABA Service Center at 800-285-2221.