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BLAWg In Bloom

The Indiana Law Library Blog

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Happy Independence Day!

Today we celebrate the founding of the United States with food, flags, and fireworks.  We hope that you are having a safe and happy holiday, where ever you may be. As with many holidays, there is lots of good information available for the interested at the U.S. government website,  You can see important founding documents, make presidential recipes, learn about the U.S. flag, get safety tips, find the biggest fireworks displays in the country, and more.  More locally, you can check the local Herald-Times website for a map on where you can find fireworks displays in South Central Indiana. And don’t forget the parade!  You can find the route at the City of Bloomington website.  Have a wonderful Forth, all!

New Laws for the New (Fiscal) Year

July 1st is the traditional effective date for most new laws in Indiana.  This year Gov. Daniels signed about 180 bills into law.  The law that has been getting the most press, of course, is the state budget, which was came so close to the deadline for passage that some people were worried that there would be a state government shutdown.  It did pass, late yesterday.  There are other interesting laws newly minted today, though.  One of the big ones that is that teenagers may now no longer use their cell phones while driving, unless it is an emergency call. Other laws address school discipline, protections for homeowners, identity theft, feticide, and puppy mills, among others.  You can get highlights of the new laws from the IndyStar, the Tristate Homepage, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, or Indiana’s News Center.  If you are feeling particularly ambitious you could head over to to look at their information on the new budget. Or just look at the IndyStar’s break down of biggest winners and losers.

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!

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