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The Indiana Law Library Blog

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Bauer v. Shepard

Bauer v. Shepard is an Indiana case currently on petition for certiorari before the U.S. Supreme Court.  It is the SCOTUSblog petition of the day today.  The case is about the right of Indiana judges to speak about controversial issues.  A group called Indiana Right to Life, Inc. sends questionnaires out to judges every year asking for opinions on abortion.  Many judges decline to answer, some of them because they worry that expressing opinions on such a controversial issue would violate the Indiana Code of Judicial Conduct.  Now Indiana Right to Life and a few judges have joined in asking that certain provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct be declared unconstitutional. Several entries on the Indiana Law Blog have been keeping track of the case.

What do you think?  Should judges be allowed to express an opinion on controversial issues?  If they do, should they be allowed to rule on cases dealing with those issues?

Arlton v. Schraut

Today at noon the Court of Appeals of Indiana will be hearing oral arguments in the case of Arlton v. Schraut in the Moot Court Room.  Consider sitting in on this case, particularly if you are about to start moot court.  Sitting in on the actually process of lawmaking can give you a new perspective.

The State of the University

Today at 1:30 IU President Michael McRobbie will deliver the State of the University address from the Indianapolis campus.  If you don’t wish to drive all the way to Indy to hear it, there are several other options for listening, including live streaming broadcast and an archived copy that will be available shortly after the speech.  For a list of those options, including channels and links, take a look at this page.

Registering to Vote

A week from today, October 4th, is the deadline for you to register to vote if you’d like to participate in the November 4th elections.  Registering to vote is fairly easy.  There is the old fashioned paper way, of course, but you can do it online at  In fact, the Indiana Voters website has just rolled out a mobile version, to let you register to vote with a smart phone.  The “Who’s On Your Ballot” link of the bottom of the page will also tell you which candidates you can expect to see when you enter the booth.  And of course you can also check to make sure that you are registered, and see where your polling place is. 

Happy voting!

Maurer Professors on Kagan and the Confirmation Process

A few months ago Prof. Fuentes-Rohwer, accompanied by several other law professors from other schools, published a piece on which worried that Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan had not made particularly diverse hires during her time at Harvard Law School.  Of the 32 new hires she made, only seven were women, and only one a minority. Yesterday the local Herald-Times ran a similar story.  Prof. Fuentes-Rohwer reiterated his concerns, but adds that he thinks that Kagan would still make an excellent Supreme Court justice.  And he and Prof. Geyh both share their thoughts on the current vetting process for nominees.  They feel that it requires the nominee to share as little information as possible—and that no one really asks questions to which they want an answer anymore. 

What do you think?  Does Kagan’s record with diversity disturb you?  Do you think that we need a new confirmation process? And if so, what should it look like?

Indiana Voting Law Upheld

For sometime there has been dispute about the legality of Indiana requiring voters to show ID in order to vote.  In 2005 the legislature passed a law that mandated that ID be shown at the polls, and since then there has been much litigation.  Today finally saw an Indiana Supreme Court decision of one of those cases—League of Women Voters of Indiana, Inc. v. Rokita. The case was originally dismissed in the Civil Division of the Marion Superior Court, but then the Court of Appeals found the law suspect because it required a different standard of treatment for those who voted in person and those who voted by mail—the latter are not required to execute an affidavit to prove their identity. 

Today, though, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of the case. They point out that no individual voter has actually come forward with a case based on his or her inability to vote under the law.  They do, however, dismiss without prejudice, in case such a voter should want to present a case. 

Do you think that the law prevents people from voting? Thanks to the Indiana Law Blog for keeping us up to date and giving us links to resource pages on the case.

CALI Lesson on Indiana Primary Resources

The new CALI lesson on Indiana Primary Resources (written by librarians Jennifer Morgan and Cindy Dabney) is now available.

This interactive lesson teaches the basic sources for Indiana law and how to use them.  Using a hypothetical problem, the lesson walks you through case law, statutes, session laws & legislative history, and regulations.

As I mentioned in a previous blog posting, CALI lessons are an excellent tool for refreshing or perfecting your legal research skills.  You should definitely take advantage of this great resource as you prepare for life after graduation or for your summer job.

Indiana Joins the Healthcare Lawsuit

Indiana’s Attorney General, Greg Zoeller, joined the multi-state federal lawsuit which alleges that P.L. 111-148 (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23rd) is unconstitutional.

Attorney General Zoeller’s press release is here and his report to Senator Richard Lugar containing the legal analysis and economic impact of the Senate version of the health care bill is found here.

Here is a copy of the complaint, which was filed in the United States District Court, Northern District of Florida on March 23rd.

The Senate Judiciary Committee Considers Prof. Johnsen

Last year Prof. Dawn Johnsen made it through the Senate Judiciary Committee with flying colors.  With her second nomination, she must pass that test again.  Both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal are running editorials on her, one for and the other against.  If you’d like to follow the Committee’s discussion of her nomination, you can watch it live on the official website of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Good luck, Prof. Johnsen!

Prof. Johnsen to be Nominated Again

This week marks the one year anniversary of President Obama’s nomination of our own Professor Dawn Johnsen to the Office of Legal Council.  Since that time she has faced a great deal of opposition, and has never actually been confirmed by Congress for the post.  This week also brings news that she will be renominated, though.  According to several sources, including the New York Times, the Blog of Legal Times, and our more local papers the Herald Times and the IndyStar, the President has decided to resubmit her name, along with five others, to the Senate for reconsideration.  Prof. Johnsen has continued to teach here at Maurer while awaiting her confirmation, and will be teaching a class this spring as well.  As much as we will miss her here, we look forward to news of her confirmation.

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