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The Indiana Law Library Blog

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Voting Tomorrow!

You have been hearing it from everyone, but do remember to vote tomorrow.  There are many close races this year, so every vote counts.  For a look at sample ballots from all over Monroe County and news coverage of the elections you can head to the Election 2010 section on the website of the Bloomington Herald-Times.  You can also confirm your registration, find your polling place, and take a look at ballots at the Indiana Voters website.  Happy voting, all!

Attribution in Blogging

We at the BLAWg IN Bloom have often cited the excellent work of Marcia Oddi over at the Indiana Law Blog.  It turns out that we are not alone, but that not everyone is giving credit where it is due.  The law firm of Ferguson & Ferguson has apparently been running the ILB on its website for sometime—it looks like they simply harvest it automatically and repost it, with no attribution. If you click on the link to one of the entries it does take you to the ILB website, but there is nothing on the firm website to let the reader know it is not a product of the firm.  The ILB recently ran a post complaining about this, and sure enough, that post shows up on the Ferguson website.  The same post also asks for suggestions.  What should she do?  The ILB is meant for the use of the Indiana legal community, this is true, but it also has supporters from law firms.  What sort of intellectual property rights apply to blogs?  The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Bloggers’ Legal Guide does have some tips.  Does Marcia Oddi have any legal recourse?  Should Ferguson be required to support the blog?  Would appropriate attribution be sufficient?  What do you think?

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 IndianaVoters.gov.  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 salon.com 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.

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