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BLAWg In Bloom

The Indiana Law Library Blog

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Like Chocolate?

Bloomington is the home of a blog devoted to chocolate-the Chocolate Cult.  The Cult has been nominated for blogger’s choice awards for humor, food, and religion. Every Saturday the Chocolate Priestess writes a review of a new kind of chocolate. She’s got a rather involved tasting process, which means that you could never have to eat sub-par chocolate again.  In between Saturdays she has entries on anything and everything chocolate.  Monday, for example, was apparently National Chocolate Éclair Day.  At the moment the blog is even running a competition to find another reviewer-a Chocolate Coconut Acolyte.  Go take a look!  Chocolate is one of the many things that can help you survive law school.

Fiat Acquires Chrysler

Late yesterday the Supreme Court decided to allow the deal between Fiat and Chrysler, and this morning, with little ceremony, the deal went through.  The challenges brought by the three Indiana interests, funds for state police, construction workers, and teachers, have been set aside.  Is this a good move?  The IndyStar reports that, according to Richard Mourdock, who represents two of the interests, it is a gross miscarriage of justice, the interests lose nearly $5 million in debt (the brunt of that born by the teachers at about a $4.6 million loss).  On the other hand, the local Herald-Times quotes our own Prof. Long as saying that had the sale not been permitted to go through the losses would have been much higher.  What do you think?  For thoughts outside of Indiana you can also go look at the New York Times or the SCOTUSblog.

Info on Emerald Ash Borer

Purdue’s extension service has prepared a website on the emerald ash borer (an invasive species which damages and kills ash trees).  The links section in the lower left hand corner of this website also features connections to additional resources from other Midwestern land grant universities, the Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Forest Service.

The Ranking Game

We are all proud that Maurer recently jumped up to number 23 in the U.S. News & World Report Rankings.  Many people consider these rankings to be the most important in the legal education world, but that doesn’t mean that your criteria for a law school matches perfectly with your own requirements.  For that personal touch, or just to make sure that you understand the strength and weaknesses of ranking systems in general, you might want to take a look at The Ranking Game.

The Ranking Game was created several years ago by our own Prof. Stake, and it allows you to rank law schools based on criteria that you select.  Not only can you choose to give a great deal of weight to the size of the law library, but you can also choose to make the number of Tibetan restaurants within 400 meters part of your criteria.  Go play around a little!

Things are Looking Up for Prof. Johnsen!

According to today’s CQ article entitled Democrats May Have Enough Votes to Confirm Johnsen, Reid Says.  Go take a look!

Swine Flu

Information on Swine Flu can be found at the CDC and at the Indiana State Department of Health.

Arlen Specter Switches Parties

Many of you probably know by now that long time Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter has decided to join the Democratic Party.  It is difficult to say at this point what effect this will have on our political system-in his statement today Specter says that the switch does not mean that he will vote the democratic party-line or that he can be counted on as a 60th vote for cloture.  Near and dear to the hearts of the Maurer community, though, is the question of whether or not Specter will change his stance on Prof. Dawn Johnsen.  It looks like he will continue his opposition of her nomination.  As an article in today’s local Herald-Times points out, Prof. Johnsen enjoys support from a variety of sources, however, according to the Wall Street Journal blog, even with his change Sen. Specter is not one of them.  It is also unclear whether Sen. Specter’s opinion will be altered by his reported decision to join the Wu-Tang Clan.

U.S. News & World Report

As most of you probably know by now, the IU Maurer School of Law has jumped 13 places in the U.S. News & World Reports law school rankings, bringing us up to #23.  Not only that, but six other IU programs are in the top 25 of their rankings.  Congratulations to all!

Government Websites

Yesterday we mentioned that you can check the status of your tax return on the Indiana government website, but you can, in fact, do so much more than that. is a great place to go for free Indiana legal research.  You can browse or search the Indiana Code or Administrative Code.  It makes it easy to track a bill, contact your legislator, grab a form you need, or brush up on the local court rules.  You can also look at various areas of law by topic.  All that and more is in the Law & Justice section-it gets even better when you look at their myriad other resources.  It is definitely a site that bears exploring. 

More than that, though, looking at state and federal government websites is a good practice in general.  Whatever state you are in, whatever area of law you practice, chances are excellent that the local state website has lots of good and (maybe more importantly) free information for you.  For example, one of the helpful things that the federal government website,, does is give you a list of links to the state government websites.  We’ve said it before-knowing your resources is key, especially for first and summer jobs.

Obama’s Judicial Picks

Indiana has been singled out at the home of first President Obama’s first judicial pick.  Judge David Hamilton was nominated last week, and will, according to CNN, be something of a test case for the appointment process.  Judicial selection has been very controversial in past years, and this year looks to be no different.  Obama has more than 50 vacancies to fill, and already people are arguing whether Judge Hamilton is a moderate or a liberal.  For more, see articles here, here, and here.

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