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The Indiana Law Library Blog

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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.

Prof. Fidler on the Swine Flu

Today at 11:45 the Washington Post will be moderating a discussion with our own Professor David Fidler on the H1N1 virus, the vaccine, and the government’s role in combating the disease.  Take a look!  You might want to ask a question, or just follow the discussion in general.

Weight Loss and Workers’ Compensation

Indiana has been in legal news recently because of the case of Adam Childers, an overweight man who has requested weight-loss surgery as part of a workers’ compensation claim.  Childers, a chef in a pizzeria, was hit in the back with a freezer door a few years ago, and was advised by his doctor that before any surgery to correct the back injury could be effective, he would need to lose some weight.  The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that the pizzeria should pay for both operations. This mirrors an Oregon case in which an employee needed weight loss surgery before a knee replacement would be effective. Some are worried that this trend will make employers less likely to hire people with weight problems. Others feel that extra medical requirements are part of the responsibility of any employer, and are not specific to overweight employees.  What do you think?  More can be found on, or at the Indiana Law Blog.

Legal Rebels

A few months ago, the ABA Journal posted a Legal Rebels Manifesto.  The idea was a commitment to innovation in the legal profession. They have also been profiling legal rebels, and last week our own Professor Henderson was added to the list.  The article talks about Prof. Henderson’s empirical approach to the legal profession.  He has been studying the business side of law schools and firms.  If you are interested in learning more about his work you might want to take a look at the two blogs he edits—Empirical Legal Studies and the Legal Profession Blog.

A New Center on the Global Legal Profession

IU Maurer already has several top end centers and clinics, and now we can add a new one to our ranks.  Professors Henderson, Krishnan, Dau-Schmidt, and Sociology Prof. Ethan Michelson will be exploring the global workings of the legal profession.  The new Center on the Global Legal Profession will focus on understanding legal systems around the world, and how they can better work together.  If you would like to know more you can take a look at the official IU Press release.

Top State Government Websites

One of the best places to go when you are doing basic, state-level research, are state government websites.  Usually government websites are pretty good, but they all have their strengths and weaknesses.  Recently, Marc Holzer, Aroon Manoharan, Robert Shick, and Genie Stowers took stock of those strengths and weaknesses in the U.S. States E-Governance Report (2008)—An Assessment of State Government Websites. The report evaluates state government websites based on content, security, and usability.  The Indiana State website is a very useful resource, and in fact it ranks fifth on the list of overall best (After Maine, Oregon, Utah, and South Carolina).  We are first in the Midwest.  Take a look!  If you ever find yourself needing to look for state information, it’s good to know what kind of resources you have available to you.

Thanks to the beSpacific blog for posting this.

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